Showing posts from September, 2011

September Debut Author~Elle Strauss

I'm very excited to present to you this month's featured debut author, Elle Strauss. Her time travel young adult novel, Clockwise , just released and it sounds fantastic! Because Elle is so awesome she's doing a giveaway to celebrate. Here are the details: To celebrate, Elle Strauss is giving away five debut books by authors that you can meet on her blog tour which is happening now. LOSING FAITH by Denise Jaden THE CLEARING by Anne Riley THE SECRET OF SPRUCE KNOLL by Heather McCorkle PERILOUS by Tamara Hart Heiner THE HATING GAME by Talli Roland How to win? Sign up for Elle’s newsletter to enter. For extra entries just comment on any blog in the tour. The more blogs you visit and comment on the more chances you have to win. Five books, five days, five winners! Now I'd like to introduce you to Elle. From your blog I know your cat Tiger inspired you to write a YA novel about a girl who could time travel. What I'm dying to know is why? Elle: Sadly, Tig

Twitter Tuesday~New Agents And More

I haven't been able to make it on Twitter nearly as much as my tweeting addiction demands so I apologize for the small selection of tweets that I have for you. But they're good ones! This first one is from agent Jill Corcoran on closing to queries and getting published: @JillCorcoran CLOSED TO QUERIES +UpPDATED: THE HOWs AND WHYs OF GETTING PUBLISHED Agetn Sara Megibow tells us that reviews sell books, and proves it by adding a few based on reviews she read: @SaraMegibow good reviews DO sell books! I added UNHEADS by @SophieFlack and AMPLIFIED by @AuthorTaraKelly to my BUY pile based on recent PW reviews. This book sounds awesome, you want to win it, trust me! @HeatherMcCorkle  Win an arc of GLOW by Kathleen Ryan: via@cvaldezmiller Great looking sci-fi YA! #WritersRoad #writecampaign Writer's Digest brings us word of another new agent: @WritersDigest New Agent Alert: Barbara Scott of Wordserve Literary - Reminder: Newer agents

Monday's Muse~A Friend's Manuscript

This week I had the distinct pleasure of reading a friend's manuscript so that I could give her feedback before she started querying widely. I've read a lot of really good books this year but I've got to tell you, her manuscript is the best one I've read so far. I was so blown away by it that I can hardly wait for it to get picked up by an agent and publisher so all of you can read it too! I feel so honored that I got to be one of the first people to read it. Though this is her first step into the realm of fiction, my friend is an accomplished non-fiction author of self-help books for parents and children. Go follow her now so you can get ahead of the pack because her first young adult fiction novel is going to rock the YA world! Now back to my own editing and reading Spirit Bound by Rachelle Mead (which is getting really good by the way!). Don't forget to click on my links to the right for chances to win books, and to celebrate banned books week by honored bann

Banned Books Week Hop And Giveaway

Today I'm post-poning the creature feature to take part in a very important blogfest honoring banned books. It was brought to my attention by the fantastic I Am A Reader Not A Writer blog . Nearly every one of the great Ellen Hopkins's novels has been banned somewhere. She writes about things that challenge kids today, sex, drugs, prostitution, terrible things for sure, but things kids are dealing with whether we like it or not. Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, about a girl who is raped, is banned in many places. Others may surprise you such as The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, The House of Night novels by P.C. Cast, The Golden Compass novels by Philip Pullman, and the Vampire Academy novels by Richelle Mead. There are so many more that it saddens me to go on. I've recently learned that my own novel, The Secret of Spruce Knoll, will not be carried in my most local bookstore because of an intense scene in it. I unde

Happily Ever After

Does your novel need to end in a happily ever after scenario? That's a question we discussed this week on the #WritersRoad chat and people came up with many different answers. The general consensus was that most people liked a happy ending, they wanted it to feel natural, as if it wasn't forced by the author. But there were many different version of what exactly a happy ending is. Some genres are more likely to have a happy ending while others are not. Cozies almost always tie up neatly with things turning out well for the protagonist in the end. One never knows with sci-fi and fantasy (which I discovered is a big reason I love it so much), and horror almost never ends well. So it's clear that there are some genre-related expectations. Does that mean we have to follow them? Heck no, we're fiction writers after all. But it is good to be aware of what the industry may expect.  It took me a few books to realize I wasn't the one who got to decide how the ending

Teaser Tuesday

For my Twitter Tuesday fans, sorry but I'm throwing a new re-occurring post into the mix. No worries, you'll still get your Twitter Tuesday updates, it will just be every other week now instead of every week. There were weeks I was struggling to find tweets for you and I also decided that I wanted to add in a little something for the readers among my followers. But I'd love for my writer friends to participate too. I'll put a teaser of either my novel or something I'm working on, then I'd love your comments and links within your comments to your own posts on your teasers! Here we go. This teaser is from my debut novel The Secret of Spruce Knoll:      Eyes on the road ahead of her, she crossed the bridge without slowing~and was blindsided. The second she hit the blacktop on the other side of the bridge, a figure stepped into her path. Whatever it was must have been downwind and moving very fast; otherwise, she would have noticed it. She and the figure tum

Monday's Muse~First Appearance

Last week I was inspired by friends, coffee, and good books. My critique sisters are having me over on Monday October 3rd to visit and have a belated post-release party for The Secret of Spruce Knoll. But it isn't only their generous spirits that have been inspiring me lately, it is all of yours. I'm touched by each of you who has purchased my book, said kind things about it, put it on your to-read list, or who has just dropped by here and followed. Thank you all so much. *wipes away tear.* My visit with my critique sisters in Seattle Washington will also be my first unofficial author appearance. I'd like to invite all of you who will be in the area to join us at Tully's Coffee in Seattle Washington (the one on Western Ave. Click on the store name for a map) to chat, have coffee, or even get your copy of The Secret of Spruce Knoll signed between 5:00pm and 6:00pm. I'll be armed with fun swag and hope to see many of you there as I'd love to meet you in person.

Author Blog Bounce & Interview Stops

One of my author friends, Trisha Wolfe and Omnific publishing is hosting an Author Blog Bounce where readers and authors get the chance to meet new authors. It sounded like so much fun I just had to take part in it. *waves to new peeps visiting* To learn about me click here and to learn about my debut YA urban fantasy The Secret of Spruce Knoll, click here . Don't forget to leave me a comment though because I'd love to meet you all! In other news: Yesterday my good friend Tina Moss had me over for an author interview on her blog . We talked about everything from my debut novel to writing tips. I hope you'll stop by. Today my good friend Lisa Gail Green was brave enough to have the antagonist from The Secret of Spruce Knoll, Luke Moldovan, over for an interview. He's deliciously shudder worthy so I hope you'll drop by to learn more about him. If you don't already follow these ladies I highly recommend them. Not only are they both a blast, they are wonde

September Feature Author~Denise Grover Swank

As many of you know, I've been singing the praises about September's featured debut author all over the internet. A short while ago I just finished reading Denise Grover Swank's novel Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes and I LOVED it. Seriously, I've already started buying it for all the ladies I know. I'm honored to have Denise here with us to chat about it. Hi Denise! Your novel was not only a great mystery with a touch of magic thrown in, it was one of the funniest books I've read in a long time. I laughed so hard I cried. What inspired you to write such a touching, funny, and exciting book? Denise: I'd just finished Chosen which is much darker and edgier and decided I wanted to write something that was lighter and humorous. Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes is more like my family blog, There's Always Room for One More. I used to take my children's zany often disastrous adventures and put a humorous spin on them. But I'm a widow with small

Twitter Tuesday~Agent Advice & Critiques

I caught a lot of great tweets for you last week! The wonderful and frank Audry T brings us this great post about why we should plot: AudryT  Are you a pantser-by-default? Get off your ass and start plotting:… One of my favorite blogs talks about when to do research: LTWFblog Let The Words Flow When to do Research? Before the first draft, or after? #amresearching #amwriting #amwriting Agent Sarah LaPolla stresses the importance of reading our manuscripts aloud: sarahlapolla Sarah LaPolla by julichilliard: Writers: Read your work aloud. If you trip over too many words or poorly constructed sentences, it's time to rewrite. Agent Sarah LaPolla brings us a tip on dialogue: sarahlapolla Sarah LaPolla by julichilliard:  #writingtip If it's obvious who is speaking, you don't need dialogue tags. Narrative is much cleaner when you remove unnecessary "said." My critique sisters and I are hosting another critique sess

Monday's Muse~Stolen Moment

Doesn't this picture just make you sigh? Well, okay, maybe not the guys who are reading. ;) Anyhow, you can see where my mind was last week as I tackled more revisions of book 2. Don't be deceived, though it's a strong undertone throughout the novel, romance is certainly not the main theme. But writing moments like the one pictured above are my some of my favorite scenes to write, I must admit. There is a lot of action, indecision, and confusion in the second novel. I'm reading Spirit Bound~a Vampire Academy novel~and am enjoying it, though I'm starting to think editors at publishing houses care less about editing as a series goes on. There is a bit of lag time, telling, and 'ly's' in this one. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a huge fan of the author and so far would still recommend this book. I'm doing my best to read like a reader, not a writer. But I'm making a mental note to do my best to keep my editor engaged and interested in edi

Contest Winners And Wednesday Writing Goals

Since I know many of you are dying to know who won the Tour of Secrets contest I figure I better start with that. Thank you so much to everyone who participated and entered. There were a massive amount of entries with points all contestants earned together totaling over 200. I want to reward you all for spreading the word about my novel so please, everyone, feel free to leave me your address in a comment (don't worry I won't publish it) and I'll be happy send you signed bookmarks, postcards, and stickers, cause I love you that much. :) On to the winners. . .  The first place prize of a $50 gift certificate to B&N, swag bag, and signed copy of The Secret of Spruce Knoll goes to: Kristie Cook! The second place prize of a signed copy of the Secret of Spruce Knoll and swag bag including: Spoiled by Jessica Cocks and Heather Morgan, Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan, Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, and A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Youn

Twitter Tuesday~Agent Advice

Today's Twitter Tuesday is chalked full of agent advice! Diving right in, a gent Sarah LaPolla warns us about the 'ly's': @sarahlapolla  Sarah LaPolla Writers: If you want to emphasize an action or emotion by adding "truly" or "really," please curb that impulse.   Agent Sandy Lu gives us her thoughts on word count: @ sandylunyc  Why do I keep getting 180,000+ words  #queries ? Sorry, no matter how good your writing may be, that number is just too overwhelming for me.   Agent Sara Megibow drops a thought about word count as well: @ SaraMegibow  It's such a relief to be reading this 55K YA submission. Seems like all YA submissions recently have been 80K.   Jane Friedman's famous list of best tweets for writers: @ JaneFriedman  I've curated this list for 2+ years to help you find best links to writing advice: Best Tweets for Writers:   Editor Heather Howland of Entangled Publishing reveals their wish lists:

Monday's Muse~Helping Libraries

This isn't a pile of garbage, it's a pile of soaking wet books from a library in Upper Jay New York. Though much of New York escaped hurricane Irene mostly unscathed, the Wells Memorial Library in Upper Jay New York did not. Their inventory was devastated by flooding. The children's and young adult books were the worst impacted as they were on the lower shelves so the children could reach them. Why would such a sad sight inspire me, you wonder? Because of the response of the online reading and writing community. When author Kate Messner came across this little library in her travels and saw this sad sight, she responded by blogging about it and reaching out to others for help. To read her entire story go here . Like Kate, the moment I heard about this I had to do something. Thankfully, Kate has given us all the info we need to direct our efforts. A local bookstore is helping the library by hosting an auction of donated signed books. I've donated a signed hardcopy

First few pages of chapter one of To Ride A Puca

With a trembling hand, Neala adjusted the spyglass to get a better look at the ship that marred the perfect blue horizon of the ocean. It was still too far away to tell much about it, save that it was large and imposing. A twist of the spyglass revealed the fierce figurehead on the prow. Fear rose up and clamped an icy grip on her throat. “Danes, oh no,” she murmured. Her heart began to thud with the intensity of a blacksmith’s hammer. Nervous energy hummed through her body. A hot summer wind blew a strand of her long brown hair across the spyglass, obscuring her view and shaking her from her paralyzed state. Her horse shifted beneath her and stomped his foot. She didn’t need any more urging, it was time to go. The click the spyglass made as she compacted it made both her and her horse jump. It was silly to think the Danes could hear. Knowing that didn’t make the fear go away, though. The spyglass slipped from her hands and she fumbled with it, barely catching it before it fell.