Thursday, 19 January 2017

How I Got my Agent: Jennifer Bardsley

DAMAGED GOODS (Blank Slate #2)
Jennifer Bardsley
January 17, 2017

Blanca has everything she ever wanted, a hot boyfriend named Seth and the loving support of her foster father, Cal. She’s finally escaped the abusive control of her birth father, Barbelo Nemo, and her tortured childhood at Tabula Rasa School.

But the scars of Blanca’s Vestal upbringing run deep, especially when the FBI start asking questions. Blanca feels abandoned by Seth who is hunting for Lilith, Blanca’s only blood relative. The Defectos, a support group of Vestal-Rejects, offer Blanca comfort instead.

While the Vestal order crumbles, Chinese rivals called the Guardians rise to power and wrest control of important Tabula Rasa contacts. Now Blanca’s life is in peril once more, and this time, Blanca struggles to recognize friend from foe.

Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | TBD

How I Got My Agent: Jennifer Bardsley

My agent is Liza Fleissig of the Liza Royce Agency, and she is exactly the type of champion a writer wants to make that jump from dreamer to published author. Liza answers emails promptly, cheers me on when I feel discouraged, and brings an enormous amount of experience and business sense to every conversation. Plus, Liza runs her agency like a little family and encourages her authors to help each other on the path to success.

I found out about Liza and LRA by looking in “The Book” from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. When a writer joins SCBWI, they have access to “The Book” which is a KidLit publishing encyclopedia. It tells you everything you need to do to get traditionally published, and a little bit of information about self-publishing as well. “The Book” has a section on literary agents. When I was ready to query my manuscript, I started alphabetically and emailed through the list. I no longer remember how many people I queried, but I think I was at the 15ish number.

Liza asked me for an exclusive full which meant she wanted to read my manuscript but also wanted me to pause on querying other agents while she spent time reviewing my work. When Liza called me up to speak to me about my project I was stunned. After all my hard work, I was finally talking to a real live person in publishing!

As soon as I hung up the phone, I cyberstalked some of Liza’s clients including Joshua David Bellin, Sarah J. Schmitt, Lisa Barr, and Darlene Beck Jacobson, and was impressed by what I discovered.  Liza represented a talented group of people.

A month or two later a beautiful legal-sized envelope came in the mail to me, direct from New York City. It was my contract with Liza Royce Agency; our agreement that Liza would represent me.

Whenever writer friends talk to me about their publishing goals, I tell them to join SCBWI, open up “The Book,” and grab a highlighter with determination. Stay persistent, have faith in yourself, and don’t give up!

Title: GENESIS GIRL (Blank Slate #1)
Author: Jennifer Bardsley
Pub. Date: June 14, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook
Pages: 280

Eighteen-year-old Blanca has lived a sheltered life. Her entire childhood has been spent at Tabula Rasa School where she’s been protected from the Internet. 

Blanca has never been online and doesn’t even know how to text. Her lack of a virtual footprint makes her extremely valuable, and upon graduation, Blanca and those like her are sold to the highest bidders.

Blanca is purchased by Cal McNeal, who uses her to achieve personal gain. But the McNeals are soon horrified by just how obedient and non-defiant Blanca is. All those mind-numbing years locked away from society have made her mind almost impenetrable. 

By the time Blanca is ready to think for herself, she is trapped. Her only chance of escape is to go online. 

About Jennifer
Jennifer Bardsley writes the parenting column “I Brake for Moms” for the Sunday edition of The Everett Daily HeraldShe also blogs at Teaching My Baby to Read with the mission of sparking a national debate on the important roll parents play in education. Jennifer is a graduate of Stanford University and a member of SCBWI. She lives with her husband and two children in Edmonds, WA.
GENESIS GIRL will release in 2016 and is about an 18 year-old girl whose lack of a virtual footprint makes her so valuable that she is auctioned off to the highest bidder, the sequel  will come out in 2017. Jennifer is represented by Liza Fleissig of the Liza Royce Literary AgencyLLC.
Follow the Jennifer on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Goodreads.

Giveaway Details:
(1) winner will receive a Perfectly Posh, Posh To Meet You Set ($20 value), US Only.

Tour Schedule:
Week One:
1/16/2017- The Avid Book CollectorExcerpt
1/16/2017- Sammeh Lurves ReadingReview

1/17/2017- Lisa's Loves(Books of Course)Guest Post
1/17/2017- I am not a bookworm!- Review

1/18/2017- Sharon Lee Hughson, AuthorInterview
1/18/2017- Bookish HollowReview

1/19/2017- Hidden Worlds BooksGuest Post
1/19/2017- Taylicious ReadsReview

1/20/2017- Bibliobibuli YAInterview
1/20/2017- AbooktropolisReview

Week Two:
1/23/2017- Two Chicks on BooksInterview
1/23/2017- Jenn Blogs BooksReview

1/24/2017- Read Coffee and TeenExcerpt
1/24/2017- Michaela DaphneReview

1/25/2017- So Few BooksInterview
1/25/2017- Book Review BeccaReview

1/26/2017- QuillableGuest Post
1/26/2017- Rockin' Book ReviewsReview

1/27/2017- LILbooKloversInterview
1/27/2017- The Starving BookwormReview

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Best of 2016 Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the
Best of 2016 Giveaway Hop
January 19th to 31st

This giveaway is a thank you to all the amazing people who participate in these blog hops!! Without you, we couldn't do what we do. Thank you!!

A Big THANK YOU to all of the bloggers that participate in these hops!   There are many blogs participating in this hop, so be sure to stop by each and enter to win!  Each has their own entry rules and geographic limits, so be sure to read the rules for each one.

This hop is hosted by BOOKHOUNDS!


(1) Paperback Copy of WE WERE LIARS by e. lockhart  from The Book Depository 

  • Ends  01/31/2017
  • US & Canada only
  • Open only to those who can legally enter
  • Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary.
  • You must be 13 or older to enter .
  • The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 24 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
  • You can email me at mmcfarlane[at]sasktel[dot]net for questions or to confirm your prize. I do send out emails so check your spam file! The direct link to the email may not work for every browser, so cut and paste to your email interface.
  • This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified.
  • Giveaway was organized by BookHounds and sponsored by me.

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Monday, 16 January 2017

Dreaming of Cash $250 Giveaway

Dreaming of Cash
Dreaming of Cash $250 Giveaway
January 16th to 30th
Enter for your chance to win a $250 Amazon Gift Code or $250 in Paypal Cash!! Thanks to this awesome group of bloggers and authors who have joined with me to bring you one fabulous prize!!

Sponsor List I Am A Reader Lori's Reading Corner Carol Ross Melanie McFarlane Books Sapphyria's Book Reviews Author Inger Iversen T. Hammond Mia Siegert Inspy Books Rockin' Book Reviews Diana's Book Reviews Author Cindy C Bennett Krysten Lindsay Hager A. Gardner - Author Laurie Here - Cont Fiction and MORE Konstanz Silverbow Helen Smith Maureen's Musings Laurie Treacy, author Aubrey Wynne: Timeless Love Glistering: B's Blog Laurisa White Reyes, Author Jennifer Faye, Romance Author Author Felicia Starr Author Alecia Stone Kelsey Ketch Magical Cool Cat Mysteries Talia Jager A Leisure Moment  

Giveaway Details $250 in Paypal Cash or a $250 eGift Card Ends 1/30/17 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Sunday, 15 January 2017

My Adventures in Copyediting: Business Tips

All inclusive or All-inclusive?

All is a prefix and nearly always requires a hyphen. 

Web site versus website?

The AP Stylebook officially changed web site to website back in 2010. Web site is never proper grammar.

Get found...

There is absolutely nothing grammatically incorrect with the above phrasing, but one can re-word it to sound a little more professional. I like: Get noticed.

Thanks for reading! If you're looking for website copyediting at affordable prices, let me know!

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Bookish Crafts: Book Page Roses

Making a Book Page Rose

What you need:
- one recycled book
- one glue stick

1. Take a sheet of paper from a book. I like to use discard books from thrift stores or a local indie shop (mine is Post Horizon Booksellers).  Did you know that these places pay to have old books recycled!

2. Mark out two squares from your page. Know that these will be the base of your flower. I chose to scale their size down to 4" x 4".

3. Fold one square diagonally, to create two triangles.

4. Fold diagonally, two more times.

5. Now, keeping the fold to the bottom, draw a "petal" on the triangle. You will need a large semi-circle at the top, with a small one at the bottom.

6. Cut out the petal. The first time I did this I didn't put the fold at the bottom and ended up with a less than ideal flower! So if that happens to you, don't fret. You have an entire recycled book to get more pages from.

7. Repeat the above with two more squares.

8. Cut out a two petals from two of the flowers, and three petals from the third.

9. Glue each "cut" end of the petals to its counterpart, creating a rounded effect to the flowers. Leave the smallest two as is.

10. Using a toothpick, curl the edges of the petals at their outer tips.

11. Glue each section inside the other, from smallest to largest. Now, put your bookish rose on display. You can connect it to a stem, or leave it by itself. Either way it's a beautiful addition to your shelves.

Thank you for reading! If you make your own bookish roses, please post links in the comments!

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

YA Books in a Box Giveaway

YA Books in a Box Giveaway

January 4 - January 25

You could win one of these 3 AMAZING books sets, plus the cool necklace that coordinates with one of the books in the set!! 

Each Week, we'll showcase the "Books In a Box".
Giveaway runs between January 4 through January 25th.
Drawing for all three boxes will be on January 26th.

The "Books in a Box Giveway" is sponsored by these FAB authors: 
Kristin D. Van Risseghem, Rhonda Sermon, CK Dawn, D. L. Armillei, Joanne Macgregor, GK DeRosa, C.E. Wilson, Felisha Antonette, Melanie McFarlane, Lydia Sherrer, Katherine Bogle and Nicole Zoltack

To enter, click on the Gleam giveaway below!!

YA Books in a Box Giveaway

CONTEST (“CONTEST”) ADMINISTERED BY Kristin D. Van Risseghem. (“ADMINISTRATOR”). CONTEST BEGINS ON January 4, 2017 AT 12:00AM AND ENDS ON January 25, 2017 AT 11:59:59PM. (“CONTEST PERIOD”). **CENTRAL TIME US ** NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. ONLY AN EMAIL ADDRESS [Blog comment/Twitter follow/Facebook Visit] is required. This email address will be distributed to the following authors: Kristin D. Van Risseghem, Rhonda Sermon, CK Dawn, D. L. Armillei, Joanne Macgregor, GK DeRosa, C.E. Wilson, Felisha Antonette, Melanie McFarlane, Lydia Sherrer, Katherine Bogle and Nicole Zoltack. By participating, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Administrator. Void where prohibited by law. Contest is open to legal residents of the UNITED STATES.

Monday, 2 January 2017

How I Found An Agent: LOST GIRLS by Merrie Destefano

Lost Girls by Merrie Destefano
Publication Date: January 3, 2017
Publisher:  Entangled Teen

Fight Club meets Black Swan—Rachel wakes up in a ditch to find she doesn’t remember the last year of her life, and that everything—including herself—is vastly different than she remembers.

Yesterday, Rachel went to sleep listening to Taylor Swift, curled up in her grammy’s quilt, worrying about geometry. Today, she woke up in a ditch, bloodied, bruised, and missing a year of her life.

She doesn’t recognize the person she’s become: she’s popular. She wears nothing but black.

Black to cover the blood.

And she can fight.

Tell no one.

She’s not the only girl to go missing within the last year…but she’s the only girl to come back. She desperately wants to unravel what happened to her, to try and recover the rest of the Lost Girls.

But the more she discovers, the more her memories return. And as much as her new life scares her, it calls to her. Seductively. The good girl gone bad, sex, drugs, and raves, and something darker…something she still craves—the rush of the fight, the thrill of the win—something she can’t resist, that might still get her killed…

The only rule is: There are no rules.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo 

Finding the Right Cheerleader for Your Book

By Merrie Destefano

Writing a book is hard. It takes a long time and there seems to be a shortage of the right words; meanwhile, characters misbehave and plots meander. By the time the book is donereally done, edited two or three times until it almost sparklesit needs to find a home somewhere else. It needs to get out of my computer and find a real home. A publishing home. An editor who will fall in love with it, nurture it, help it grow into a Real Book.

But honestly, I've never had much success by contacting an editor on my own. (Okay, there was that ONE time when I did it by myself and got a three-book deal with a big publisher, but those books never made it all the way to publication. Not my fault, but it's a long story and I digress...) Anyway, to me, the best and only way to go the traditional publishing route is to have an agent to represent me.

Alas, there have been times during this publishing journey when I've found myself all alone, without an agent. It can happen when you switch markets or genres. It can happen if your agent decides to quit being an agent. It can just happen. So, there was this time a few years ago when I had a new manuscript written, but no one to submit it to an editor.

I had to do what every new author does and what every experienced, published author does. I had to research agents and agencies, looking for someone that I thought might like my work enough to represent it. I searched Publisher's Marketplace, I followed agents on Twitter, I read agent interviews and I talked to my published friends about their agents.

In the midst of all this, while I was querying and getting rejections, I asked one of my dear friends, K.C. Alexander (author of Necrotech) about the agency that represented her at that time, the Bradford Literary Agency. I loved that agency and they represented the type of work I write. But then, discouragement set in. I confessed to Kace at a Romance Writers conference that I didn't think I was going to sub to them, even though I really wanted to and even though K.C. had already put in a good word for me and even though they were waiting for my submission.

At that point, I'd gotten so discouraged that I didn't want another rejection.

Enter my favorite mantra: Good friends don't let you quit. Even when you want to. Even when you think curling in a ball and eating chocolate is the best idea you've ever had. So Kace refused to let me quit and told me I had to sub to the agency that repped her. Somehow, she convinced me. Despite my fear and worry and inner-doubt, I listened to the confident voice of my friend.

CURRENTLY A FULL-TIME NOVELIST and magazine editor, Merrie Destefano’s next novel, LOST GIRLS, releases on January 3, 2017. Her other novels include AFTERLIFE and FEAST, both published by HarperCollins, and FATHOM, which was self-published. The editor of Victorian Homes magazine, she has also been the editor of American Farmhouse Style, Vintage Gardens, and Zombies magazine, and was the founding editor of Cottages & Bungalows magazine.

With 20 years experience in publishing, she worked for a variety of publishing/broadcasting companies that include Focus on the Family, The Word For Today, and PJS Publications (now Primedia). Besides editing and writing, her background includes print buying, writing/producing radio promos, directing photo shoots, developing new products, writing jacket copy for books, creating sales media packets and organizing direct mail campaigns.

Born in the Midwest, she currently lives in Southern California with her husband, two German shepherds, a Siamese cat and the occasional wandering possum. Her favorite hobbies are reading speculative fiction and watching old Star Trek episodes, and her incurable addiction is writing. She loves to camp in the mountains, walk on the beach, watch old movies, listen to alternative music—although rarely all at the same time.

Blog Tour: All prizes listed below will be given to one prize winner.
Prizes listed are for a US winner only; if an International winner is chosen, the prize will be a $50 Amazon gift card.

·        1 - Kindle Fire Tablet, black: 7" Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB, 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, with the Alexa cloud-based voice service—just press and ask.
·        1 - digital Kindle copy of LOST GIRLS
·        1 - Pack of 14 vintage-style Swan Lake postcards 
·        1 - pr. Black Swan earrings, handmade by author
·        1 - "Always" temporary tattoo

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