Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Feature: The Regenerates by Maansi Pandya



Title: The Regenerates
Series: The Regenerates, Book 1
Author: Maansi Pandya
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Radiance Publishing

Blurb: Abolition Day has arrived again, the day when any of Cor’s citizens arrested for opposing the regime are publicly executed in a special ‘cleansing’ ceremony. Sixteen-year-old Ven is an aristocrat. He lives in a palace, goes to lavish parties and wears buttons made of pure gold. To him, Abolition Day is nothing more than an unpleasant holiday that comes and goes. All of that changes when his best friend, Coralie, makes the execution list. In order to save her life, Ven teams up with a mysterious criminal who warns him that his city is in terrible danger. He offers Ven a deal: steal something from the palace for him, and he’ll save Coralie’s life. Not about to watch his best friend die, Ven makes the deal and slowly uncovers the truth behind the criminal’s warning – something out there is desperate to see Cor burn to the ground, and it makes Ven question everything he’s believed in.

Order Paperback/E-book at: http://www.amazon.com/The-Regenerates-Maansi-Pandya/dp/0993884008/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414240665&sr=8-1&keywords=the+regenerates 


Author Bio: Maansi Pandya is a YA Author who loves Fantasy, especially adventure stories! She currently lives in Vancouver, Canada and studied Creative Writing and Political Science at the University of East Anglia.

Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Writer Wednesday: Should You Query New Agencies?




Today's post topic came by request last week. Thank you, Fi, for a great question that I think many people probably have. Here's the question:

With regard to literary agents, would you approach a newly founded agency (with lots of industry experience) or hang off and see how they progress?

Okay, well I'm not sure I have the answer to this one because it's really a personal decision, but I'm going to give you some pros and cons on signing with a new agency to help you make a decision.

Pros:

  • More individualized attention:  New agents and new agencies have smaller client lists, which means that if you sign with them, you will get a lot of individualized attention. That means quicker response times and an overall feeling of being special. :)
  • Hardworking:  I know writers who prefer newer agents and agencies because they work so hard for their authors. Why? The new agent/agencies have something to prove. They are trying to make a name for themselves. That means they are going to do their absolute best on your behalf. (I want to make it known that ALL agents/agencies should do this for you, though.)

Cons:
  • No reputation to stand on:  New agencies don't have a reputation to stand on when it comes to submitting your work to editors. An editor may not recognize the agency name at all, instead of seeing a well-known agency they've worked with before and who knows the publishing house's tastes.
  • You might be the guinea pig:  There's a learning curve in this industry, so if you sign on with a new agent or agency, you have to understand that they are new to this and might not have a lot of experience negotiating contracts. However, some new agencies are started by very well-known and experienced agents. I don't consider them to be in this category.
I didn't set out to make an even number of pros and cons, but I think it goes to show that you have to judge each agent individually. Follow them online. See what kind of an agent he/she is. Are they editorial? Do they have relationships with editors at houses you'd like to be with? (You can see this easily on Twitter and Facebook.) Is the agent someone who represents him/herself in a way that you are comfortable with, because if you sign with that agent he/she will be representing you, too.

My advice to anyone querying is only query someone you could see yourself saying "yes" to if you are offered representation. If you're on the fence, wait. See what that agent does as far as sales. If you query someone you don't have faith in, you're really just waisting your time and the agent's. So query selectively. Finding an agent is like finding the person you want to marry. Sure, people divorce and find new agents all the time, but wouldn't it be great to have a long and successful career with someone who will really champion your books?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday Mishmash 12/15/14


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:

1.  Medeia Sharif's New Book!  A huge congrats to Medeia on her new release. She has a giveaway going on to celebrate. Check it out:

VITAMINS AND DEATH, Prizm Books/Torquere Press, December 10, 2014
Purchase from Prizm, Amazon – Vendor sites will be updated on the author’s site.

Deidra Battle wants nothing more than to be invisible. After her mother, a public school teacher, engages in an embarrassing teacher-student affair at Lincoln High, they relocate to a different neighborhood and school. Being her mother's briefcase, Deidra joins her mother at her new workplace, Hodge High. Since her mother has reverted to her maiden name and changed her appearance, she thinks no one will figure out they're the Battles from recent news and that they're safe. Neither of them is. Hodge brings a fresh set of bullies who discover details about the scandal that changed Deidra's life. Feeling trapped at home with an emotionally abusive, pill-addicted mother and at school with hostile classmates who attempt to assault and blackmail her, Deidra yearns for freedom, even if she has to act out of character and hurt others in the process. Freedom comes at a price.

Find Medeia – YA and MG Author

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2. Reading  I'm trying to get in a lot of reading this week. I've gotten behind on the books I need to read and review, and now it's time to catch up.

3. Editing  Another week of editing for clients. :)

4. Renovations  I finally have a kitchen! Okay, it's not 100% finished. We still need to finish the backsplash, but my new countertop and new sink are both in! Yay! The den is also finished. The floor is down and the walls and window casings are painted. Unfortunately, my carpet for the upstairs won't be installed until the 29th though, so not in time for Christmas.

5. Getting Ready for the Holidays  Did I mention I'm hosting Christmas and the house is still a mess? Yup, it is. Furniture everywhere. Unwrapped presents everywhere. I feel like I could be on an episode of Hoarders. *sigh* The good news is that it HAS to get cleaned up before Christmas, so this can't last much longer.

That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Feature: Creed by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie


Release date: November 8, 2014
Publisher: Flux
Genre: Young Adult psychological horror
ISBN: 0738740802

Three of us went in.
Three of us came out.
None even a shadow of who they once were.

When their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, Dee, her boyfriend Luke, and Luke’s brother, Mike, seek help in the nearby town of Purity Springs. But as they walk the vacant streets, the teens make some disturbing discoveries. The seemingly deserted homes each contain a sinister book with violent instructions on disciplining children. The graveyard is full of unmarked crosses. Worst of all, there’s no way to contact the outside world.

When Purity Springs’ inhabitants suddenly appear, Dee, Luke, and Mike find themselves at the mercy of Elijah Hawkins, the town’s charismatic leader who has his own plans for the three of them. Their only hope for survival is Elijah’s enigmatic son, Joseph. And his game may be just as deadly as his father’s . . .



Advance Praise for CREED:

“Debut authors Leaver and Currie make an auspicious foray into YA horror...creating a believably desperate and terrifying situation for their characters" ~Publishers Weekly

"Welcome to a town that makes "Children of the Corn" look like child's play."   ~ MTV News

"This is: a straight-ahead, cover-your-ears tale of terror that grows more nihilistic and grueling by the page." ~Booklist



EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT:

A small beam of light suddenly illuminated the dark room. “Gas can, gas can…there’s gotta be something useful in here,” Luke muttered to himself.
I flipped open my cell phone and used the light from my home screen to navigate the edges of the room. Hooks lined the walls, most of them supporting yard tools. Hedge trimmers, weed whacker, leaf blower. Pick axe. “Pick axe? What would somebody need a pick axe for?” I asked.
“I don’t know. Maybe they use it in the winter when people die and the ground is frozen,” Luke offered up. I turned to glare at him, not even remotely thankful for his insight.Mike ignored us and continued rifling through some large plastic bins lining the wall, cursing as a large cardboard box toppled over onto his feet.
 Papers spilled out and Luke bent down, casting the beam of light across the mess. Dozens of names handwritten in pencil lined the sheets. Next to each name was a date. I reached down and picked up the first sheet I touched.  It was dated November fifth … two days ago.
“James McDonald, age six. Margaret Elizabeth Cunningham, age fifty-four. Sadie Calbert, age twenty-two,” Luke read aloud. He inhaled sharply and began stuffing the papers back into the box. “These are…I think these are death records.”
“I can beat that,” Mike chimed in. “Check this out.”
Luke turned his light in Mike’s direction, slowly scanning it upwards until a sign came into view. ‘Purity Springs. Population 152’ it read. He moved the sign aside, another one, nearly identical, was behind it. “Purity Springs, Population 151,” Luke read, before shuffling yet another sign aside.
“And looky here,” Mike said. “This one looks pretty new, not a scratch on it. Says population 149. That’s messed up.”
Luke shook his head, grumbling something incoherent under his breath. I stepped aside, forcing myself to focus on the search for gas as opposed to the archaic death records scattered across the floor.
My mind flashed back to the grave we’d passed on the way here. It was new, and I couldn’t help but wonder if there was a sign hanging on the side of the road somewhere that now read ‘Purity Springs. Population 148.’

  
Buy Links:

 




About the Authors:

Trisha Leaver:  Trisha Leaver graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in Social Work. She lives on Cape Cod with her husband, three kids and one rather irreverent black lab. She is a member of the SCBWI, the Horror Writers Association, the International Thrillers Writers, and the YA Scream Queens-- a group of nine women who take their horror deathly serious!


  
About Lindsay Currie: Lindsay Currie graduated from Knox College in Galesburg, IL with an English Literature degree. She is a member of the SCBWI, the Horror Writers Association and a contributor to the YA Scream Queens.

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Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Writer Wednesday: Setting Up Author Events

Today's post topic came from Katie Clark, who posted this on Monday Mishmash:

Can you do a post talking about how you go about arranging those author events? Do you do the legwork, or is it done for you? What goes into it? What kind of relationships do you develop beforehand, or do you cold contact stores? How do you find out about the local events and festivals where you set up a booth?

Okay, there are quite a few things you can do to set up author events. First, make sure you get your press release into papers. I get requests for school visits because teachers see my press releases in the newspaper and contact me. However, there is nothing wrong with contacting the librarian at a school and letting him/her know you are an author and you're available to come speak to the students. I also let them know that I don't charge for visits to local schools. It's hard for schools to turn down a free opportunity like this.

As for local festivals or events where I can have a booth, I search the library website as well as the local paper. Once you get on a list, the organizers contact you the following year to return. So really the legwork is only necessary for that initial foot in the door. Also, local organizations attend each other's events. I've booked other events through them. For instance, I do a local book expo every year at the library. At that event, I met the state representative, who asked me to attend a local event she runs every year. Now I have two local events that I participate in each year. Not bad.

As for bookstores, I personally go into the bookstores with my information in hand. You need to speak with a manager, who will most likely look up your book immediately to see if it's in the system and can be ordered. From there, setting up the signing is easy, and the store usually works with you to promote the event, which is great. I've also found that teaming up with other authors can get you in more stores. That's how my book tour this fall was set up. I contacted stores in my area, and the other authors contacted stores in their areas. Before we knew it, we'd booked several signings. 

So that's my answer, Katie. I do a lot of legwork, but it's time well spent.

Does anyone else have a question they'd like me to answer in a Writer Wednesday post? If so, leave your question in the comments and I'll get your answer scheduled.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Monday Mishmash 12/8/14


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. My Birthday  Today's my birthday. Can't say I'm thrilled to get a year older, but I guess that's inevitable, huh? 
  2. Editing  December has become the month of edits. I'm booked through January with no breaks at all. I hope I can fit Christmas in there. ;)
  3. Christmas Shopping  I'm 98% finished. I just have some grandparent gifts to take care of, but that should be easy enough. Now…wrapping. Ick.
  4. Reviewing/Blurbing  I have two books to read. One I agreed to blurb and another I agreed to review. (I think I'm going to wish for more hours in my days for my birthday.)
  5. Holiday Shop with the PTO  I'm also working at my daughter's school this week helping the PTO with the holiday shop for the kids. (Yup, definitely wishing for more hours in my days.)
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

Friday, December 5, 2014

Friday Feature: Annie Cosby's Learning to Swim



"... a darkly romantic beginning to what promises to be an unusual contemporary YA fantasy series."
- Serena Chase, USA Today

When Cora’s mother whisks the family away for the summer, Cora must decide between forging her future in the glimmering world of second homes where her parents belong, or getting lost in the bewitching world of the locals and the mystery surrounding a lonely old woman who claims to be a selkie creature—and who probably needs Cora more than anyone else.

Through the fantastical tales and anguished stories of the batty Mrs. O’Leary, as well as the company of a particularly gorgeous local boy called Ronan, Cora finds an escape from the reality of planning her life after high school. But will it come at the cost of alienating Cora’s mother, who struggles with her own tragic memories?

As the summer wanes, it becomes apparent that Ronan just may hold the answer to Mrs. O’Leary’s tragic past—and Cora’s future.

Buy the book


The second book, Learning to Live, is out now!


You can catch up with Annie at SincerelyAnnie.com. She'd love to hear from you!
Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.