Category Archives: Author Interview

Life becomes books, and books become life! With Casey Griffin

Welcome back, Casey!

You write this great series about rescue dogs. What role do animals play in your life, and how does that roll over into your books?

26114194Roll over?! Pun intended? Haha.

I think instead of my life rolling over into my books, it was the other way around.

My books began to roll over into my life.

29875913I was at the tail end of writing Must Love Wieners when my partner came into my life, along with his three wonderful kids and, get this, two wiener dogs (they look weirdly similar to the two in the book).

I knew that I must love wieners because I loved his―dogs, that is.

To add to the coincidence, one of his dogs is named―you’re not going to believe this―Casey! You can’t write this stuff!

The series of coincidences proved to me that truth is stranger than fiction.

Awesome story! Thanks for stopping by again, Casey. And as a special treat, Casey has a Rafflecopter giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card and all three adorable puppy books! Ya gotta love that!

Click the pic or link to enter.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2281a69c0/?

 


31450623A wedding Tale, book three of A Rescue Dog Romance series is out now!

Shoot me to Goodreads to find out more!

Wedding planner Zoe Plum has brides from all walks of life vying for her services. The only problem is: happily-single Zoe doesn’t actually enjoy weddings―but that might change when she meets the singer of a local band playing at one of her weddings. His name is Levi Dolson and he’s too gorgeous for his own good. And now he’s gone ahead and charmed her new dachshund. . .

It’s no secret that Zoe doesn’t believe in fairy tales, but that doesn’t stop her from wanting to make sweet music with Levi. While she’s convinced she doesn’t need a man, when someone starts setting one trap after the next to make sure she never plans a wedding ever again, she might need Levi in more ways than she could have imagined. But just how far is Zoe’s hidden enemy willing to go? The only thing Levi knows for sure is that he will do everything in his power to protect the woman who brings music to his soul. Maybe that will prove to Zoe, once and for all, that he is a man worthy of her heart.


 

About Casey Griffin

Casey Griffin can often be found at comic conventions on her days off from her day job, driving 400 ton dump trucks in Northern Alberta, Canada.

As a jack of all trades with a resume boasting registered nurse, English teacher, and photographer, books are her true passion. Casey is a 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel finalist, and is currently busy writing every moment she can.


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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound | Google Play


Catch up with me on social media!

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I Never Dreamed I’d be a Writer by @sloantamar

Interestingly, I never considered I’d be a writer. As a child I loved to read (I devoured romance novels from the moment I discovered them), but it NEVER occurred to me that I could write one myself.

My first book came to me in a dream (so cliché, right?). But it was a beautiful dream. There were moving scenes of a boy who never came of age like every one of his kind has. It was a story about the girl who has wounds of her own (and totally underestimates her potential) and the power of their connection. A connection powerful enough to spark Noah’s change, and to challenge Eden’s beliefs. And it was an idea that wouldn’t go away. I thought, maybe I could…

Many dedicated hours later punctuated by much cursing and face-palming because it was far more difficult than I realised, Prophecy Awakened was born, and it was a pretty big high when it won the Romance Writers of Australia 2015 First Kiss competition and finalised in the Heart of Denver 2015 Molly competition. It was the encouragement I needed to start the second book in the Prime Prophecy Series, Prophecy Accepted.

As it turns out, once I opened the doors to a possibility I never considered, I discovered a passion and a talent I love more and more every day. More characters and stories came knocking (some far more insistently and impatiently than others) and my young adult contemporary romance is sitting on the desk of a US literary agent as I type.

So here we are — Prophecy Awakened is on virtual shelves thanks to Clean Reads and I can’t wait to see what readers think of it. It just shows you, never underestimate your potential or what is waiting for you…behind the door that you never noticed was there.

 

About the Author:

A school psychologist by day, Tamar channels her passion for books into creating young adult stories about discovering life and love beyond our comfort zones. She is the award-winning author of the Prime Prophecy Series. Her debut novel, Prophecy Awakened, is an epic story of a love that defies boundaries.

When not reading, writing or working with teens, Tamar can be found with her ever-patient husband and two beautiful sons enjoying country life on their small acreage in the Australian bush.

Tamar finds it deeply rewarding to share her stories and she loves to hear from her readers and fellow lovers of all things book related. You can find her at:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

About the Book:

Eden – shy, wounded…all she wants is to finish her senior year and escape to college.

Noah – the guy who’s spent two years drifting aimlessly, not knowing why he failed to come of age as every one of his ancestors has.

When the two meet the connection is instantaneous and undeniable. A connection that has Eden running and Noah burning to know more.

A connection destined to be the catalyst for a prophecy that neither knew existed.

A prophecy others are willing to kill for.

As families rupture and struggle to realign, as their hearts connect and ignite, Eden learns to trust. But with their love and life on the line, Eden must find the power to believe.

Goodreads Amazon |B&N Website |  iBooks Kobo |

 

Using Audio for Editing with Melissa Crispin

When I go into editing mode, I try to find ways to distance myself from my words. I search for methods that will allow me to assess my work-in-progress in an impartial way. One of my favorite tools for this is the text-to-speech function on my kindle. I find it useful for different stages of editing.

Some of the issues it helps me to catch are:

  • Pacing – There may be certain spots I’ve read over and over again, causing my eyes to skim over the content. When the automated voice is reading for me, I can’t speed it up or slow it down. This highlights places that drag, as well as places that are missing an extra something.
  • Stilted dialog – If the robotic voice is reading a character’s dialog and it sounds like a robot, I know it’s worth revisiting.
  • Misplaced or missing words – When I’m proofreading a manuscript, I find the text-to-speech invaluable for finding these problems. An extra “the” or “a” in a weird spot, or a word that is absent from a sentence won’t get picked up by spellcheck.

I’ve heard of other people using a speech function in Microsoft Word for editing. I plan to try this out someday too. What about you? Do you have any editing tricks that may seem unusual or uncommon?

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today, Jennifer!


TheCrimsonCurse_Cover Cursed and disfigured, Calliope must find true love before the final leaf falls from the Enchanted Tree. Being bound to her mansion on the outskirts of town leaves her with little hope.

Abandoned by his wife for a wealthy man, Bastian only needs one female in his life, his five-year-old daughter, Yareena. When she goes missing during a raging fire, fate brings him to a strange place where he encounters a woman wearing a golden mask.

An attack by rogues puts Bastian in Calliope’s care. As he struggles against pride and prejudice, Bastian can’t ignore his growing attraction to the kind soul behind the mask.

Yareena and the mansion staff do their best at matchmaking, but Calliope can’t reveal her darkest secret. Will Bastian discover her true beauty before it’s too late?


Sasser, Melissa 02 color low resMelissa J. Crispin lives in Connecticut with her husband, two kids, and an adorable Siberian Husky. She spends her days in the corporate world, and pursues her passion for writing in the late nights and early mornings.

From micro-fiction to novels, Melissa loves to write stories in varying lengths. But, no matter the story, it’s almost always about the romance.

Facebook: Melissa J. Crispin – author Twitter: @MelissaJCrispin Instagram: @MelissaJCrispin Website:www.melissajcrispin.com

Melanie McFarlane talks about what book is creepy enough to give an author nightmares

I have come to appreciate darker stories over the last few years. They suck me in and put me into survival mode in a way that no other book can. I can feel my adrenaline pumping through my veins as I duck and dodge each scene of prose, trying to solve a mystery in time and stay alive. There’s something deep inside of us, an instinct that keeps us going in even the most hair-raising of situations.

The one book world that I still think about was Dawn Kurtagich’s And the Trees Crept In (spoiler to follow). I was sucked into the world of the main character’s own madness, not realizing it was a world she created within herself until the very end of the book.

I was in awe. It made me want to write my own nightmare world.

I realized that an entire book can take place in the mind of a character, making me want to experiment with my writing. From there I started exploring short fiction (something I’ve never done before) to study the different elements of the world that scare us and the impact they can have in a short piece. I can’t wait to release these stories on the world.

I had already written Summoner Rising, but I was still able to use some of my newfound skills in the edits, bringing more fear and adrenaline to a scene. And though Summoner Rising isn’t necessarily a dark story as much as it is an adventure one, my new writing skills have definitely given it the edge it deserves.

About: SUMMONER RISING

28537447Law One: A summoner is responsible for all creatures it lets through from the netherworld.

Dacie Cantar wishes someone had explained the Laws of Summoning to her before she watched a shadowy creature crawl out of a painting at the local arcade. At least it explains the strange things she’s witnessed since moving in with her great-aunt, after her mother’s untimely death. But who wants to be followed by shadows the rest of their life? Add that to being stalked by a strange boy at school, who just might be her Tovaros (aka soulmate), it’s about all Dacie can handle in her new life.

As she nears her seventeenth birthday, will she be ready for her new responsibilities, or will the shadows that stalked her mother until her death, finally consume Dacie, too? And then there’s Law Two…

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | TBD | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play Books | Indiebound

About Melanie:

Whether it’s uncovering the corruption of the future, or traveling to other worlds to save the universe, Melanie McFarlane jumps in with both hands on her keyboard. Though she can be found obsessing over zombies from time to time, Melanie has focused her powers on her YA debut There Once Were Stars, and her YA urban fantasy Summoner Rising.

She lives with her husband and two daughters in the Land of Living Skies. Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

What is Jamie Zakian’s Writing Nemesis? @demoness333

There are many aspects to writing a novel that are extremely difficult. For me, the biggest obstacle to overcome—my true nemesis—is doubt. Writing is an art form and art is subjective. You never know if people will connect with your words, characters, storylines. As a writer, you need to become accustom to rejection. You’re rejected during the querying stage, once published you’re rejected for book reviews, sometimes your own publisher rejects future scripts, and often times there’s no explanation as to why. The uncertainty of whether your writing is to blame creates huge barriers of self-doubt. This doubt often hinders my creative flow, especially when I’m trying to start a new manuscript. Luckily, I have an amazing critique partner who is not only extremely patient when dealing with my many freak-outs, but very supportive and encouraging. If not for being able to share my failures and successes with a fellow writer who totally gets it, I might have fallen victim to the doubt monster.

If you  haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Jamie Zakian, be sure to  check out all the details below.

 
There is a giveaway for a DVD  of Passengers, US Only or the complete eBook set of Fire  In The Woods, International, courtesy of Month9Books. So if you’d like a chance to win,  enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
About The Book:
 
Title: PROJECT
EMERGENCE
Format: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 292
An ancient Hopi myth says people arrived on tiny silver pods that fell  from the sky.
But the truth is far more terrifying.
Two-hundred fifty-eight teens are sent from a dying Earth to a  terraformed Mars as part of the Emergence Program, mankind’s last hope before  solar flares finish off their planet and species. Among the brave pioneers are  sixteen-year-old Joey Westen and her twin brother, Jesse.
After only minutes in space, something triggers a total ship lock down.
With the help of their roommates, the Matsuda twins (notorious hackers  and shady secret-keepers), Joey and Jesse stumble onto an extremist plot to  sabotage the Emergence Program.
But Joey and Jesse didn’t travel to the deepest pits of space and leave
their mother behind to be picked off in a high-tech tin can. They’ll lie, hack,  and even kill to survive the voyage and make it to Mars.


 
About Jamie: 
Jamie Zakian is a full-time writer who consumes the written word as
equally as oxygen. Living in South Jersey with her husband and rowdy family,  she enjoys farming, archery, and blazing new trails on her 4wd quad, when not  writing of course. She aspires to one day write at least one novel in every  genre of fiction.

 
Giveaway Details:
1 winner will receive a DVD of Passengers, US Only.

1 winner will win the complete FIRE IN THE WOODS eBook set,
International.

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

Secrets of a Reluctant Princess with Casey Griffin

Author Casey Griffin is here with us today! So, Casey, have you ever been a reluctant princes?

In grade eleven, I enrolled in Stagehand class as an elective. I was pretty quiet, insecure, and I didn’t like to get put on the spot in school, so hiding behind the scenes seemed like the perfect place. I didn’t even make it through one class before I realized it wasn’t for me. (I’m not the handiest girl—what was I thinking?)

My teacher, Mrs. Jansen, who also taught Drama class during the same period, encouraged me to simply switch over to acting and give that a try. Ummm… Crawl out from backstage and into the limelight? It didn’t get any worse. I wasn’t just reluctant. I thought she was crazy. Me? In the spotlight? Ha!

PKO_0005301But my teacher wouldn’t take no for an answer, so I humored her and sat in on one class…and then the next. And I’m so happy she pushed me, because soon I was in every production I could be in, performing in front of the entire school, teachers, and parents. I won school awards for drama. Heck, I got the lead roles normally reserved for students in grade twelve. I was even voted “The actress” in the yearbook.

But it was so much more than that. My drama experience for the remainder of high school raised my confidence, brought me out of my shell, gave me the courage to stand up in front of others, and helped me find myself. I might have been reluctant at first, but in the end, I felt like Mrs. Jansen helped me blossom into a princess.

Awwww… Love this story. Thanks Casey!


About Secrets of a Reluctant Princess

At Beverly Hills High, you have to be ruthless to survive…

29939193Adrianna Bottom always wanted to be liked. But this wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. Now, she’s in the spotlight…and out of her geeky comfort zone. She’ll do whatever it takes to turn the rumor mill in her favor—even if it means keeping secrets. So far, it’s working.

Wear the right clothes. Say the right things. Be seen with the right people.

Kevin, the adorable sketch artist who shares her love of all things nerd, isn’t exactly the right people. But that doesn’t stop Adrianna from crushing on him. The only way she can spend time with him is in disguise, as Princess Andy, the masked girl he’s been LARPing with. If he found out who she really was, though, he’d hate her.

The rules have been set. The teams have their players. Game on.

Shoot me to Goodreads to see where to buy!


About Casey Griffin

Casey Griffin can often be found at comic conventions on her days off from her day job, driving 400 ton dump trucks in Northern Alberta, Canada.

As a jack of all trades with a resume boasting registered nurse, English teacher, and photographer, books are her true passion. Casey is a 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel finalist, and is currently busy writing every moment she can.


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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound | Google Play


Catch up with me on social media!

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Dabbling in Sports Romance – For Women with @JulieCross1980

Sports themed books, movies, and TV shows have always been a love of mine–with or without romance (though a love story is always a plus). Surely I’m not the only female who feels this way? And although Off the Ice features ice hockey, I have written another YA that features a female elite gymnast, another with a ballet dancer, and in my YA novel Whatever Life Throws at You my main character, Annie, is a long distance runner for her high school track team. I really enjoy writing female athletes as well as the boys from Juniper Falls in Off the Ice.

The knowledge of a sport is generally not required to enjoy a fictionalized story that revolves around athletics. In fact, readers with extensive knowledge of a sport can ruin a fictional story featuring the sport of their expertise because authors often take liberties with rules and details to be able to tell the most interesting story.

What attracts me to reading and writing sports themed stories is that they often feature very driven characters who take action without hesitation. Who wants to read about a protagonist that complains all the time but never does anything? Not me. These driven athletes often have very clear, easy to follow goals–win the match, run faster, jump higher, etc…additionally these goals can create intriguing conflict when something (or someone) becomes nearly as important to them as their beloved sport. Another wonderful aspect of sports themed stories is the community often created either within an athlete’s’ team or the town or fans supporting the team. Everyone wants to see the underdog take the win and when they do, the warm fuzzies are plentiful.

Enter to win a Kindle Fire HERE!


About Off the Ice

All is fair in love and hockey…

25538649Claire O’Connor is back in Juniper Falls, but that doesn’t mean she wants to be. One semester off, that’s what she promised herself. Just long enough to take care of her father and keep the family business—a hockey bar beside the ice rink—afloat. After that, she’s getting the hell out. Again.

Enter Tate Tanley. What happened between them the night before she left town resurfaces the second they lay eyes on each other. But the guy she remembers has been replaced by a total hottie. When Tate is unexpectedly called in to take over for the hockey team’s star goalie, suddenly he’s in the spotlight and on his way to becoming just another egotistical varsity hockey player. And Claire’s sworn off Juniper Falls hockey players for good.

It’s the absolute worst time to fall in love.

For Tate and Claire, hockey isn’t just a game. And they both might not survive a body check to the heart.

Purchase Links:

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Amazon | Indies | B&N| Kobo | TBD | iBooks

 


About the Author

Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin’s Press).

She’s also the author of the Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, and many more to come!

Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA.
She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres.

Outside of her reading and writing cred, Julie Cross is a committed–but not talented–long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict.

 Website • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads

 

 

 

Authors: be real. Your readers (and your characters!) will thank you for it.

I have obstacles to overcome. Just like you, just like everyone.

Author E.M. Fitch

One of my obstacles has a name, though as a teen, I didn’t realize it. I have panic attacks. The reason I’m telling you this is because it’s real. I am a real person and I have panic attacks.

My protagonist in Of The Trees, my forthcoming YA novel, has them, too. That’s important. It’s important because every day millions of people have panic attacks. Millions will also suffer anxiety, hallucinations, paranoia, and depression. As an author, it’s important to me to show this. I want my characters to jump off the page. I want them to be authentic. Giving my characters actual issues, mixed in with the fairy lore, fantasy and horror, will ground them and give them a way to connect with an audience.
There’s a better reason to create characters with mental health issues, however. It’s more important than creating a way for the characters to relate to the readers. It’s giving your readers a chance to connect with someone. One of the worst experiences someone can have is feeling alone. One of the hardest parts of managing an invisible illness is feeling like no one understands what you’re going through. I feel like I’m on the other side of what once was an invisible illness for me. Anxiety creeps into my life in variable doses, but overall, it’s manageable. So my characters are my way of extending a hand. It’s a nod that tells my readers: I see you. I’ve been there, too.
Horror is real. Anxiety, depression, hallucinations, fear – that’s all real, too. But so is growth. There’s is such a thing as learning to overcome – and I don’t mean learning to erase all impact of the invisible illness from your life. I mean a way to manage and cope and breathe and live in spite of, or even because of, whatever’s weighing you down.
So, authors: show this. Be real. Tell your tragedies, show your weaknesses, bleed on your pages. Not only will your characters breathe because of it, your readers might find themselves not so alone after experiencing your own wounds lay bare in print.

 

Only she can hear the deadly whisper of the trees.

High school seniors, Cassie and Laney, spend their days on ghost hunts, Laney trying to pull Cassie into belief. Cassie tolerates it for her best friend, but she doesn’t really believe … until the carnival comes to town. The men who work there watch the girls, disturbing Cassie with the intensity of their collective gaze.

It’s not just their age or the unnerving way they stare. There is something else, something in the shifting of their skin, the way their features seem to change fluid in the shadows, that screams danger. Cassie tries to ignore the uneasy feeling that something bad is about to happen, convinced that once the carnival leaves, life will return to normal.


But it doesn’t.


People start dying and bloody warnings appear around town. Cassie enters into a nightmare where the trees whisper “join us” and strange, seemingly familiar, shape-shifting men haunt the backwoods of her small, isolated town.


When Laney goes missing, Cassie knows it’s the men of the forest who have taken her. She knows that she’s the only one who can help bring her friend back. But the creatures that taunt and hiss through the trees aren’t ready to give Laney up just yet.


E. M. Fitch is an author who loves scary stories, chocolate, and tall trees. Her latest novel, OF THE TREES, is a Young Adult horror/fantasy inspired by haunted cemeteries and the darker musings of W.B. Yeats. She is the author of the Young Adult zombie trilogy: THE BREAK FREE SERIES. When not dreaming up new ways to torture characters, she is usually corralling her four children, or thinking of ways to tire them out so she can get an hour of peace at night. She lives in Connecticut, surrounded by chaos, which she manages with her husband, Marc.

 

Visit www.emfitch.com for more information on her works.

 


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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound | Google Play


Catch up with me on social media!

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Why I finally decided to write about the end of the world. By Christy Sloat

Last  year I decided to take a break from publishing my books.
purple hair mad scientistAfter publishing two  in 2015 I sort of lost my mind somewhere along the way. (By the way I’m not  entirely sure I got it back, yet)
While  waiting to hear from agents for a big project, I had a lot of time on my hands.

And idle hands to an author are no good. We get a little crazy and we write the  books that we always dreamed up; Mad Scientist Doctor PKO_0002493the ones no publisher would ever dare touch.  In this case it was my take on the apocalypse. I decided to kill the world. Fun  stuff.
Now  I know this has been done before, you don’t need to remind me. I did it with  full intentions to post it to my blog or even to self-publish. It was the ‘fun’  book that I would write. My book about the end was a take on the evilness that  I saw spread around this country and in the human race altogether in just a few  short years.

Christy Sloat (No, she’s not a mad scientist)

To  my utter surprise I became close with these three main characters; Emma, Kami  and Lou. Closer than I ever dreamed I would be. My zombies weren’t zombies, but  they were the dead rising from graves. And then the book that was supposed to  be just for fun became my evil little  masterpiece. (Insert maniacal laugh) I proved to myself that I can’t just write  to kill time or to make myself happy. It showed me that my mind was full of  these thoughts and that I had to please my readers and I couldn’t let them down  in any way!

The  book was finished, well my first draft anyway, and a publisher had gotten wind  of the idea of The Survival Pact. They loved it and wanted it.
Say_What
I  was utterly confused. No publishers would want this book. Would they?
This  book was original, sure, but the premise had been done over and over again. But,  they wanted it. And who was I to deny the world this macabre tale of how the  world dies? I surely wouldn’t say no. I wasn’t an idiot.
What  once had been an idea to keep my hands busy, had now become a full story about  three friends who make a pact to survive the end of the world together.
PKO_0004816This  story was born of evil; evil that I had deep inside me. I’m not sure how good  that sounds, really. It makes me look sort of cracked doesn’t it? Well if you  have seen as many horror movies as I have, you’d feel the same. There is something fun about being an author and having the capabilities to kill anyone  you want.
The  end of the world isn’t something to write about lightly, trust me. I didn’t go  into the project thinking it was going to be a piece of cake; after all I’m  supposed to be ruining my characters’ lives here. I think I did the justice to  the proverbial end, and I sure hope those of you who decide to read it will  feel the same.

The  Survival Pact
Three friends.
One promise.
One goal.
Survive.
Kami  thought she’d seen it all as a small time reporter for a New York Paper, but after hearing reports of the dead crawling from graves and attacking humans, she realized the world she once knew would never be the same again. Forced to flee the city, she heads south where her two best friends Emma and Lou reside  in search of answers. As a drunken joke ten years earlier, the three friends made a vow that if the world went to hell they’d survive it together, no matter what. With the pact now a reality, they are forced to face a never ending tidal  wave of the dead, tornadoes, earthquakes, and massive storms with hundreds of miles to go. Along with their new dog, Snack, the girls get closer to their  destination but no closer to answers as to why their world is filled with such  evil. Will their plan of survival keep them alive or will they drown in the sea  of the dead?
 
 
Goodreads | Amazon  |B&N  |iBooks  |Kobo |Indiebound



 

 

How to get writing help – and maybe an agent while you’re at it! With Brenda Drake

Hey guys!

I met the lovely Brenda Drake YEARS ago while working on the first page of a book that I was polishing for submission. At the time, she was running an online group through her site where people gave feedback to each others first pages. It was great!

Now Brenda is hosting something new, and this looks like an awesome opportunity for those interested in honing their craft.

So here’s Brenda to tall us all about PITCH WARS


Online contests can be a great way to display your work and to meet other writers. The first Pitch Wars contest was in 2012. After running several contests in the past, I discovered something disappointing. Agents who had made requests on entries in my contests would find while reading their requests that the writing and/or plot would fall apart after the first few chapters. Then one fated day, I was watching Cupcake Wars, a competition between bakers to make the best cupcakes. Each baker had an assistant to help them create beautiful and tasty cupcakes for judges. So I thought that’s what we need. We need mentors to help writers who are almost there, but keep getting rejections, to help them work out what is failing in their manuscripts. And that’s how the idea for Pitch Wars came about.

What is Pitch Wars?

It’s a contest where published/agented authors, editors, or industry interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and guide the writer in revising it for our agent showcase. The mentors also help with their mentee’s pitch. Writers send applications (query and first chapter of manuscript) to the four mentors that best fit their work. The mentors then read all their applications and choose the writer they want to mentor for the next two months. Mentors point out the weaknesses in their mentee’s manuscript and help him or her fix those issues. In publishing, authors must meet tough deadlines all the time. The rigorous two months of revision teaches our mentees how to work on a deadline.

Then we hold an agent showcase with over fifty of the top agents in the industry making requests. We’ve had so many successes in the contests with writers finding agents and book deals. Since its debut year, Pitch Wars has garnered over two hundred successes. The 2016 contest ended three months ago and we’re already at twenty-nine successes.

One of the best parts of the contest is the community it builds. Writers hang out mostly on the Twitter hashtag, #PitchWars, and in Facebook groups. There are many amazing and giving people in our online community of writers surrounding the contests. Many have met long lasting critique partners through participating in them.

17669243I’ve met my critique partners in the community. They were there in the first drafts of Thief of Lies and all my other manuscripts. The community has cheered me on when I got my agent, when I got my book deal, and when I had to make difficult decisions, they supported me. This community is welcoming, they show empathy for others, and they support each other. With all that said, the contest isn’t for everyone and some haven’t had as great an experience as most, but we can’t please everyone. I’m truly blessed to have this opportunity.

If you’re a writer seeking an agent, I hope you’ll join us for Pitch Wars 2017 coming this August.


About Brenda Drake

Brenda Drake, the youngest of three children, grew up an Air Force brat and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When Brenda’s not writing or doing the social media thing, she’s haunting libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops or reading someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

http://www.brenda-drake.com/


 

About Guardian of Secrets

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. 29939285No 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.

Purchase Links:

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