I Sold My First Book!

You have no idea how hard it is to keep quiet when all you want to do is scream from the rooftops that you’ve sold a book. But the day has come for the announcement and I still can’t believe it’s happened. 

I’m really looking forward to working with Stephen Morgan and Entangled Teen to bring the story of Adrian and Ezra to life!

PRETTY WICKED by Kelly Charon Cover Reveal

The lovely Kelly Charon has a novel coming out September 30th and I have the cover for you and when I saw this cover my jaw hit the ground. IT. IS. PERFECT. Don’t believe me? See for yourself.

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The daughter of a local police detective, fifteen-year-old Ryann has spent most of her life studying how to pull off the most gruesome murders her small Colorado town has ever seen.

But killing is only part of it. Ryann enjoys being the reason the cops are frenzied. The one who makes the neighbors lock their doors and windows on a hot summer’s day. The one everyone fears but no one suspects.

Carving out her own murderous legacy proves harder than she predicted. Mistakes start adding up. And with the police getting closer, and her own father becoming suspicious, Ryann has to prove once and for all that she’s smarter than anyone else—or she’ll pay the ultimate price.

*warning – some graphic content

Pretty Wicked is a mature YA novel intended for ages 16 and up.

Praise for Pretty Wicked:

“This creepy novel places you inside the mind of a twisted teen killer, which is even more unsettling because of how familiar and normal she seems. Be prepared to leave the lights on and look at the people around you in a whole new way.”    

-Eileen Cook | Author of WITH MALICE

“Dark and haunting, this witty thriller with its petite feminine anti-hero is an American Psycho for teens. Be prepared to sleep with the lights on.”

Lisa Voisin | Author of THE WATCHER SAGA

“Pretty Wicked is fresh, thrilling, and deeply haunting. I’ve never read anything like it! The story escalates from page one and will leave your pulse pounding as you wonder just how far Ryann will go. 5/5 stars.”

Tiana Warner | Author of ICE MASSACRE & ICE CRYPT

Excerpt from Pretty Wicked:

I heard the bell ring in the distance. Lunch was over. I leapt up to go when I was struck with panic. What if someone had seen me walk out there with Veronica? No one could know what I’d done. My breath hitched.

I ran as fast as I could back to the yard and to the first teacher I saw.

“Mrs. Hopkins! Come quick, Veronica’s really hurt!” I pretended to be hysterical so effectively that she couldn’t understand me the first few times.

She bent down so we were at eye level. “Where?”

“We went into the woods at the far end of the property. I’m sorry. I know we’re not allowed, but she fell and she’s not moving! You have to hurry!” I sobbed, shoulders shaking, snotty nose. I don’t know how I’d managed to look so distraught, but I nearly convinced myself.

Mrs. Hopkins turned to a kid named Austin, who was in the grade ahead of me. “Go get Mr. Chute. Tell him to call 911 and to come out and meet me in the woods.”

Austin, who was paper white, nodded and took off like his ass was on fire.

I ran back with Mrs. Hopkins to the rocks where I’d left Veronica. She was in the exact position I’d left her. Thankfully there was no miraculous recovery waiting for us.

After she was taken away in an ambulance, Mrs. Hopkins and Mr. Chute walked me back and called my parents.

My dad showed up to the school, hugged me, and told me how brave I was.

After my mother had finally stopped fussing and checking on me every twenty minutes, I sat on my bed and thought about Veronica. It would be weird not to see her in class every day or hang out with her at lunch, not that we hung out that much. I was usually with Bao-yu anyway, but sometimes she came along. Maybe now B and I would be better friends. She wouldn’t have to share me anymore.

I wondered what I was feeling—if I was missing Veronica. But I didn’t think that’s what it was. The twinge in the bottom of my stomach didn’t have the achy hollowness that people refer to as a pit. It was more like butterflies.

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Preorder your copy here: Amazon and add it to your Goodreads here

 

Questions about Pretty Wicked:

What inspired you to write such a dark character?

I’ve always been fascinated with psychology and human motivation. Whenever I read a novel or watched a movie or television show, I was drawn to the villain. I wanted to understand what made them act the way they did––delve into what happened in their lives or minds to make them the person they had become.

When there was the odd story from the “villains” point of view, it seemed to characterize them as “misunderstood” and usually spun them into a likeable character who was the hero of that new version of the story. I wanted to write something unique and portray the villain realistically. What would the story look like if they were a true villain? I got the idea for a teenage serial killer who was unapologetic about who she was and what she wanted and thought it was really interesting to explore what her point of view would be if she drove the story and the “villain” was the detective trying to stop her.

Is this your first novel?

Pretty Wicked is the second book I wrote and the first to be published. I have been writing for ten years. My first book was a YA urban fantasy that took me seven years to complete because I kept stopping for huge chunks of time while I completed my degrees (English Lit and Social Work). I finally got serious about writing in 2013 and have just completed my fourth novel.

Why did you choose to self-publish?

I did query it to literary agents and received a lot of positive praise for the book. In the end I kept hearing the same feedback: it’s a fascinating concept, the writing and voice are great, but we don’t think we can sell such a dark book to a publisher. I completely understand this. I know this book is going to be very polarizing. People will either love the concept of hate it. So far I have had overwhelmingly encouraging feedback from readers who understand that this is a fictional story that is trying to do something different from most novels. There was some interest from small publishers but the wait times were longer than I was comfortable with. I decided if I wanted to see this book out in the world I was going to have to do it myself. It was an intimidating process, but luckily I have an amazing and brilliant support group who helped me along the way.

What genres do you write in?

Psychological thriller, urban fantasy, and horror. I have two YA urban fantasy books, though one may never see the light of day. It’s my first book and would need to be rewritten before I decide its fate. The second (currently titled Wilde Magic) is the first in a planned series that I am very excited about.

Is Pretty Wicked a standalone novel?

The Pretty Wicked series will continue with adult books. The sequel, Wicked Fallout, is currently going through editing and the third book in the series is brewing in my mind. I have some very fun ideas for Ryann.

Wicked Fallout takes place twelve years later when Ryann is 27 years old. That’s all I can say right now as to not reveal spoilers.

Ryann is not a very likable character. Do you like her?

I actually do. I really enjoyed writing her. I don’t agree with anything she does at all! In that sense, Ryann is deplorable! But what I like is her humor and wit and the way she owns who she is. She was a fun character to write because she is so different to most characters out there. It’s like when you see a Hollywood actor discuss their favorite roles. Often they say the villain roles were their preferred because it was more fun and exciting to play. There are forbidden elements that make it a bit more exciting than the standard hero. It’s no different for me as the writer.

What is your writing process?

I have a day job so writing usually happens in the evenings and on weekends. I work in a school so I am fortunate to have shorter days, two vacation break periods, and summers off which really help me carve out the time needed.

On a writing day (Saturday or Sunday) I will get up, shower, eat breakfast, procrastinate with some TV and then get to it. I’ll make a coffee and park myself on my couch (even though I have a beautiful desk in an actual home office). I’ll write for about 2-3 hours (about 1500-2000 words on average). I may do another session later that evening if I’m really inspired. I watch a lot of television and read widely to inspire my creativity and ideas.  

I also have an amazing group of friends who are writers as well and we meet up to have writing and brainstorming sessions, which is fantastic!

 

Meet the Author:

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Kelly Charron is the author of YA and adult horror, psychological thrillers and urban fantasy novels. All with gritty, murderous inclinations and some moderate amounts of humor. She spends far too much time consuming true crime television (and chocolate) while trying to decide if yes, it was the husband, with the wrench, in the library. She lives with her husband and cat, Moo Moo, in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Connect with her: Website| Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

2016 PitchWars Wishlist

PitchWars

Signing with my agent was one of the best days of my life and it’s something I want you to experience as well. Before I get into all the things that give me grabby hands, allow me to introduce myself.

My Backstory:

My name is Natasha Neagle (that’s Nagel like bagel), but most people on the interwebs call me Nat. Either one is fine. I am repped by Michelle Richter of Fuse Literary. I’m married with two not-so-tiny humans (Evil Genius and Mini Me), four demented cats, and two dogs.

By trade, I am a teacher. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s in Curriculum & Instruction. I am currently seeking my Ed.S. in Educational Leadership through Old Dominion University (where I also received my BS in Biology). I teach eighth grade physical science (think basic chemistry and physics) and used to teach high school Biology.

This is my second year participating in PitchWars. I didn’t participate in 2015 due to personal reasons.

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YA

No NA or Adult. Sorry folks, maybe next year.

Make sure you have a synopsis available (don’t worry if it sucks) because I will ask for one this year.

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The following will give me grabby hands and fill my heart with happiness.

DIVERSITY & #OWNVOICES

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The novels on our bookstore shelves do not represent the world. They never have. This is a problem.

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Does your book feature LGBTQIA? GIMME.

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I’m particularly interested in bisexual main characters, but if you have any LGBTQIA characters represented in your novel, I WANTS IT.

Does your book feature a physical or mental disability? GIMME.

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These characters are missing from books. If you have them in your novels, I call dibs on your manuscript.

Does your book feature POC? GIMME.

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We don’t look the same and our books need to reflect this.

If you have diverse characters within any of the genres I’m looking for below, I need your novel in my life.

Sci-Fi/Fantasy & Horror.

These will always be my first love. I became hooked on reading fantasy and horror when I bought my first Christopher Pike book from the bookstore when I was 8. My first manuscript was a fantasy that featured alternate histories (drooling for this in my inbox, BTW) and the last one I turned into my agent was a fantasy with romantic elements.

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If you know me at all, you know I’m 100% in love with Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series and the TV show. I even used it as a comp title for my latest novel. Sidebar: If you are an Outlander fan, we MUST follow each other on Twitter!

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If you’ve written anything that meshes time travel with romance and feisty ladies and gorgeous guys (kilts not required), DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT $200. GIVE IT TO ME NOW.

 

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I LOVE supernatural and sci-fi characters thrown into an otherwise normal world. Especially when they are the love interest. As for horror, I want to be afraid. I want to question EVERYTHING…

Thrillers and Mystery.

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Besides writing fantasy, I’ve written a few YA thrillers. I love any story that will make me wonder who dunnit. I enjoy reading books where I refuse to stop reading because I have to know if the characters are going to get out of their current situation. I want to be shocked. I want to keep guessing until the end when you totally pull the rug out from under me. Make me go back and reread, looking for clues once I reach the end.

Contemporary.

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I found that I like to write a bit of everything when I wrote my YA contemporary romance. I’m on a romance kick, so if you’ve written one (especially if your character is diverse), I’d love to read it. As a former band geek and the parent of two saxophone players (one in his school’s award-winning marching band), I’d love to see a contemporary that deals with marching band. I’d also kill for a road trip or summer camp novel. If you’ve written something like this, then I WANT IT.

Your Genre Not Listed?

That’s okay! If your novel is filled with the voice of quirky characters that will make me laugh, ugly cry, or feel ANY emotion, then GIMME. I’m not a huge historical fiction (unless *cough cough* time travel or some alternate reality is involved), but that doesn’t mean I won’t read it. Because I have. It makes me happy when books surprise me, and I love them. If your manuscript has any of the elements I mentioned above, definitely consider me. If you think I might be able to help you take your novel to the next level, consider me.

If you’ve written from a male POV, multiple POVs, have dual timelines, reverse timelines, etc. please consider me for your mentor! I eat that stuff up with a spoon. And not a little spoon, I mean, the big serving spoons!

When in doubt: QUERY ME. PICK ME. LOVE ME.

What You Can Expect From Me:

My feedback will be honest, just like the feedback you will receive once the book is published. I always offer up suggestions when I find an error and turn things into teachable moments (the teacher in me will never die) or ask questions to make you think outside of the parameters of what you’ve written. There’s no sugar coating or ass-kissing here, but I’m not mean either.

If I don’t like something, I will tell you.
If I love something, I will tell you.
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I will help you edit your manuscript and point out the following:

      • lack of voice/internal dialogue
      • plot holes and continuity issues (especially if they are science related)
      • telling
      • passive voice
      • filter words
      • overused words/phrases
      • words/phrases used too close together
      • lack of setting/missing details/pointing out where you could expand a scene
      • grammar

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Powered by… Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets.

Synopsis Writing Made Simple

Synopsis. It might as well be a four-letter word in the writing community. Everyone hates to write them.

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Unfortunately, they are part of the process as many agents and editors require them. To make matters worse, the lengths vary based on where you’re sending them. The post from PubCrawl was the post I used over and over again to help me write my synopsis. It’s available here.

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If the Star Wars example post above doesn’t help you, consider doing what I now do when I need to write a synopsis. For starters, I write my synopsis so that I can have all possible page lengths, which makes it less heart ache for me in the end.

Here’s what I do. It’s not rocket science and many of you might roll your eyes at the simplicity of my method. It works for me. Maybe it will work for you. What’s great is you can do this before you write (if you are a plotter) or you can do it after you finish your novel.

Using either my outline or my completed manuscript, I tackle the main character’s storyline chapter by chapter. I don’t focus on page length in the beginning. I simply focus on the main plot, only introducing the major characters. The rule of thumb I follow for this aspect of synopsis writing is to ask myself if I need to mention their name. What will I gain by adding them to the synopsis? Are they mentioned more than one time? If not, their specific name isn’t needed, but stating Lacy’s best friend does XYZ should work.

Once I’ve gone through every chapter (this requires me scrolling through the completed chapter and summarizing what takes place in the main plot in as few sentences as possible), my synopsis is pretty long. The same is true if I’m trying to write my synopsis before I write the novel. I pull the main plot from my outline and do my best to summarize what I plan to happen. Naturally, this will need adjusted after the novel is completed because things usually always change.

After the long draft is finished, I then go back and make sure I’ve included the main elements to the story an agent and editor will want (including the ending). From there, I clean up the grammar, wording, et cetera, and then start cutting it down until I get the desired page lengths (usually five, three, and one).

This is just my process, but I wanted to share because I like writing a synopsis. Doing it this way makes it easy for me. Good luck in your synopsis writing!

WITHOUT BORDERS by AMANDA HEGER

Enter to Win an Ebook Copy of WITHOUT BORDERS

 

WITHOUT BORDERS
A Wanderlove Novel
Amanda Heger
Releasing April 19th, 2016
Diversion Books
For Annie London, a month in a Central American rainforest means handing out mosquito nets, giving medical aid, and teaching children about the birds and the bees. With any luck, it will also land her application in the “accepted” pile at a top tier medical school. But as soon as she steps off the plane, Annie realizes her bug spray, feeble Spanish, and medical supplies won’t help her deal with her new feelings for Felipe—her best friend’s older brother, who’s much hotter than she remembers, and who also happens to be the doctor in charge of the trip.
Gawking “volun-tourists” may keep his family’s medical clinic afloat, but Dr. Felipe Gutierrez doesn’t have to like them. Or the way they make snap judgments about his practice and the people he cares for. But when his old crush, Annie, shows up to volunteer, her killer curves and kind smile fan the embers of a flame Felipe didn’t realize he’d been carrying. A flame that makes him question all his preconceived notions.
As ideas and cultures clash, Annie and Felipe must decide how far outside their comfort zones they are willing to go—both for their work and for one another.
 BUY NOW

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Amanda Heger is a writer, attorney, and bookworm. She lives in the Midwest with three unruly rescue dogs and a husband who encourages her delusions of grandeur.
 
Her debut romance, Without Borders, is forthcoming from Diversion Books. The story was inspired by the summer Amanda spent in rural Nicaragua, eating gallo pinto, speaking mangled Spanish, and showing high school students how to slide condoms onto over-sized plantains.
 
Her stories are represented by Jessica Watterson of the Dijkstra Literary Agency.
 
 

EDGE OF CHAOS RELEASE DAY!

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Release Date: March 30, 2016
Photo & Cover Design: Regina Wamba / MaeIDesign and Photography
Models: Ripp B. (Dash) & Mackenzy T. (Blake)

Synopsis

Blake Caster has been in an emotionally abusive relationship with Justin for so long, she can’t tell what is normal anymore, and so she clings to the one thing that is solidly hers—her passion for extreme weather.

Three years into her Meteorology degree, Blake meets professional storm chaser, Dash Lexington, who is as gorgeous as he is daring. Instantly recognizing her passion and skills in analyzing weather data, he makes a spot for her on his tight-knit storm chasing team. Dash and Blake form a fast friendship and it forces her to realize just how toxic her relationship with Justin is. She can’t deny the lightning-worthy chemistry she has with Dash or how her heart stalls every time he gets too close to a tornado.

With each chase and the cherished moments with Dash, Blake discovers her own self-worth and gains the strength to end things with Justin for good. But he won’t go easily. As Blake tries to sever ties with one man, she fears she’ll lose the other to his dangerous obsession—and she doesn’t know if she’ll be enough to save him from the impending storm that could end them all.

 

Goodreads

 

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Giveaway

Kindle Fire (7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB w/ Special Offers, Blk) & Signed paperback of Edge of Chaos

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0cba4250224/?

 

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Book Trailer

https://www.dropbox.com/s/txz261b9q6y2c31/Edge%20of%20ChaosTrailer.mp4?dl=0

 

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About the Author

Molly Lee is an author, editor, and mentor best known from Pitch Wars, a program that connects promising writers to established authors in the community. She writes NA contemporary and YA urban fantasy with strong heroines who are unafraid to challenge their male counterparts, yet still vulnerable enough to have love sneak up on them. Throw in high-octane action or any kind of supernatural element and she’ll be hooked. A military spouse with two children and one stubborn english bulldog, Molly enjoys watching storms from the back porch of her Midwest home and digging for treasures at local antique shops.

 

Connect with Molly

Newsletter Signup Link: http://eepurl.com/8uco5

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MollyElizabethLeeAuthor/?fref=ts

Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/434107490133398/

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14975678.Molly_E_Lee

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MollyELee

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mollyelizabethlee/

 

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Edge of Chaos by Molly E. Lee Cover Reveal

OMG is this cover hot or what?!

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Release Date: March 30, 2016
Photo & Cover Design: Regina Wamba / MaeIDesign and Photography
Models: Ripp B. (Dash) & Mackenzy T. (Blake)

Synopsis

Blake Caster has been in an emotionally abusive relationship with Justin for so long, she can’t tell what is normal anymore, and so she clings to the one thing that is solidly hers—her passion for extreme weather.

Three years into her Meteorology degree, Blake meets professional storm chaser, Dash Lexington, who is as gorgeous as he is daring. Instantly recognizing her passion and skills in analyzing weather data, he makes a spot for her on his tight-knit storm chasing team. Dash and Blake form a fast friendship and it forces her to realize just how toxic her relationship with Justin is. She can’t deny the lightning-worthy chemistry she has with Dash or how her heart stalls every time he gets too close to a tornado.

With each chase and the cherished moments with Dash, Blake discovers her own self-worth and gains the strength to end things with Justin for good. But he won’t go easily. As Blake tries to sever ties with one man, she fears she’ll lose the other to his dangerous obsession—and she doesn’t know if she’ll be enough to save him from the impending storm that could end them all.

 

Goodreads

 

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Giveaway

One of Five ARC’s for Edge of Chaos 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0cba4250213/?

 

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Book Trailer

https://www.dropbox.com/s/txz261b9q6y2c31/Edge%20of%20ChaosTrailer.mp4?dl=0

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About the Author

Molly Lee is an author, editor, and mentor best known from Pitch Wars, a program that connects promising writers to established authors in the community. She writes NA contemporary and YA urban fantasy with strong heroines who are unafraid to challenge their male counterparts, yet still vulnerable enough to have love sneak up on them. Throw in high-octane action or any kind of supernatural element and she’ll be hooked. A military spouse with two children and one stubborn english bulldog, Molly enjoys watching storms from the back porch of her Midwest home and digging for treasures at local antique shops.

Connect with Molly

Newsletter Signup Link: http://eepurl.com/8uco5

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MollyElizabethLeeAuthor/?fref=ts

Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/434107490133398/

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14975678.Molly_E_Lee

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MollyELee

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mollyelizabethlee/

 

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Cover Reveal for Charlie N. Holmberg’s MAGIC BITTER, MAGIC SWEET

The peculiar tale of an enchanted baker who creates fairy tales’ darkest and most magical confections.

 

Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet

 

Maire is a baker with an extraordinary gift: she can infuse her treats with emotions and abilities, which are then passed on to those who eat them. She doesn’t know why she can do this and remembers nothing of who she is or where she came from.

When marauders raid her town, Maire is captured and sold to the eccentric Allemas, who enslaves her and demands that she produce sinister confections, including a witch’s gingerbread cottage, a living cookie boy, and size-altering cakes.

During her captivity, Maire is visited by Fyel, a ghostly being who is reluctant to reveal his connection to her. The more often they meet, the more her memories return, and she begins to piece together who and what she really is—as well as past mistakes that yield cosmic consequences.

From the author of the Paper Magician series comes a haunting and otherworldly tale of folly and consequence, forgiveness and redemption.

Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet is available for preorder on Amazon and B&N. Ebook, audiobook, and paperback release from 47North June 28th!

You can also preview the novel on Goodreads.

~*~

About the Author

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Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Amazon | Goodreads

Born in Salt Lake City, Charlie N. Holmberg was raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters who also have boy names. She graduated from BYU, plays the ukulele, owns too many pairs of glasses, and hopes to one day own a dog.

Kelly Siskind’s MY PERFECT MISTAKE COVER REVEAL!

I’m so excited to be sharing the cover of Kelly Siskind’s MY PERFECT MISTAKE today! Check out the beautiful cover below, read a sneak peek, and enter to win!

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About MY PERFECT MISTAKE

What happens in Aspen is definitely not staying in Aspen . . .

A girls’ trip to Aspen was exactly what Shay needed to forget about her toxic ex-boyfriend. She’s got her girls, pristine slopes for skiing, and hot guys everywhere. Of course, her epic self-rediscovery goes completely to hell when a wild (and deliciously hot) skier knocks Shay on her ass . . . and war is declared.

Kolton doesn’t know what it is about Shay that makes him lose it. Not just his cool—although she does have an unholy gift for that—but his restraint. When anger gives way to explosive chemistry, they’re both shaken with the intensity of it. But somewhere between lust and hate, Kolton and Shay realize they could have something real . . . if they don’t kill each other first.

MY PERFECT MISTAKE releases April 5, 2016 – add it to your Goodreads list here!

Preorder MY PERFECT MISTAKE now: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Excerpt

He tosses me my anti-sexy helmet. “We should take another run before we head down.”

I catch it and shake my head, unsure I heard him right. “Sorry, we? Shouldn’t you be skiing with your buddies? It’s bad enough you hijacked my lunch and I have to sit at a table with you again tonight. Now you want to ski together? Thanks but no thanks.”

He lifts his arms over his head and stretches from side to side. A sliver of skin peeks out below his jacket. “The guys called it quits early. Worried you can’t keep up?”

As fucking if. The dude’s obviously egging me on, but he snaps my self-control. Everything between us is action, reaction. Spark and flame. What’s his deal, anyway? Why sit with me and ski with me when we’re worse than cats and dogs? If he thinks firing me up means he’s getting a replay of last night, he’s mistaken. Still, I need to beat his ass on the slopes. “Fine. I’ll take that run. It’s about time I put you in your place. But let’s be clear. We can have lunch and ski together, but there will be no sex.” A teen walking by stops midstride and doubles over in a fit of giggles.

“I didn’t catch that.” Kolton leans forward and cups a hand around his helmeted ear. “Do you mind speaking up?”

What a total douche.

“Everyone is wise until he speaks,” I mumble, recalling my granddad’s words.

Kolton straightens, a question passing across his face. “Are you Irish? My granddad used to say that all the time. Along with, ‘Shut your mouth and eat your dinner.’”

I laugh, abrupt and maniacal, the sharp sound catching me off guard. The energy shifts between us, like the first time I understood my Spanish teacher—the foreign becoming familiar. I frown, unsure I want Kolton to feel familiar. “Yeah, I am. The first curse I learned was feckin’ arse, and I’d kind of like to use it now.”

He smiles to himself, as though we’re friends who would sit and talk and laugh about our shared upbringing. Ruffled, I cram my helmet on, get geared up, and try to stomp out of the lodge all look out, buddy, but with the boots and Martian head, it’s a fail.

Skis on and goggles down, we race to the lift. He arrives first, making like he’s been waiting forever with a dramatic yawn. I roll my eyes and push past him. The lift line is empty, so it’s just him and me on the four-person chair.

“Mind not doing that?” he says partway up as I swing my skis.

The chair sways in response, and I rock my legs harder. “This?”

His olive skin grays. “Yeah. That.” He leans his elbows on the safety bar and closes his eyes.

If he pukes, I’ll likely toss my cookies, too. When my brother got food poisoning from China House’s all-you-can-eat buffet, it wasn’t pretty. I hadn’t eaten a thing there, but the second he threw up, I proceeded to reenact that pie eating scene from Stand by Me: projectile vomit, solid stream, fire hydrant force.

I still my skis and stop bouncing.

We pass one supporting tower, then another, before he opens his eyes.

“You regretting that lunch?” I ask, smirking.

He flexes his hands, and the poles dangling from his wrists knock around. “No. I’m regretting getting on this chair with you.”

Such a charmer.

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About Kelly Siskind

A small-town girl at heart, Kelly moved from the city to open a cheese shop with her husband in Northern Ontario. When she’s not neck deep in cheese or out hiking, you can find her, notepad in hand, scribbling down one of the many plot bunnies bouncing around in her head.

She laughs at her own jokes and has been known to eat her feelings—Gummy Bears heal all. She’s also an incurable romantic, devouring romance novels into the wee hours of the morning.

She is represented by Stacey Donaghy of the Donaghy Literary Group.

2015 Golden Heart® Finalist

Connect with Kelly Siskind

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Writing and Rewriting

writingandrewriting

It never fails, I just can’t write in the fall. I have no idea why. Maybe it’s because I’m going back to work (being a teacher pays the bills) and the idea of balancing writing and starting a new school year terrifies me. Maybe it’s because by summer’s end, I’m tired of writing. I don’t know. But come the end of December, beginning of January, I always hit the ground running–err, typing–and start working on something new. This is just how I roll and I really don’t know why.

2015 was a terrible, horrible, no good year for me filled with the sadness of separating from my agent, losing my mother-in-law unexpectedly to cancer, surgeries and hospital stays, car accidents on the interstate, and depression. But I’m determined to make 2016 better. The first way I’ve decided to do this is by WRITING.

When my Winter Break started, I decided to pull out feedback I’d received from editors who had read my YA LGBT Thriller (bisexual MC) and based on that information, I sat down and reworked the novel. It a matter of days, I’d rewritten major plot points that shaped the novel I loved so much (and had gotten my agent with) into something more…something better.

This was only the beginning. I became hooked on the idea of making what I’ve already written that much better.

I have two more novels that I love dearly, they are my babies, after all. One has never seem agents besides the one I had at the time, but the voice was too similar to my first novel and there were some characterization issues I needed to address. I’d shelved it because at the time I didn’t know how to fix it. Two days after Christmas, it hit me what I needed to do. I started outlining because I’m a plotter and for two weeks straight, I wrote every chance I got. The story quickly evolved into something so much better than what I started out with. When I finished, I couldn’t believe it. Sure, I’d salvaged some of the scenes I wrote orignially (even if they needed to be heavily edited for voice and tense purposes), but I managed to write 70K in two weeks.

THE END

Now, I needed a new title. I needed a new pitch. I needed a new query. I’m still working on the latter right now while I let the writing simmer before sending it to my CPs and beta readers. It wasn’t the same novel anymore (same is true for the LGBT Thriller I heavily revised) and I, for one, was glad. I felt accomplished, I’d done something, breathed life into something I thought could never be salvaged and resurrected it from the shelf of doom.

I can’t help but wonder, now. Am I a writer who has to write and then go back and rewrite it again? I hope not, but I’m the kind of writer who doesn’t want to give up on my older novels. If it means they need rewritten to become better and more marketable, I’m game. As a teacher, I know I have to evolve my teaching style to match the type of learners I have in my classroom. As a writer, I’m willing to do the same. But rewrite or not, I’m just happy to be writing again. I can’t wait to start my next novel, whether it’s a rewrite or something new, it doesn’t matter. As long as I’m writing.

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