by Jessica Arnold
Publication Date: March 15, 2016
All magic comes with a price.
The new school year brings with it a welcome return to normalcy after Alice’s narrow escape from a cursed hotel while on summer vacation. But when a young girl drowns in a freak accident that seems eerily similar to her own near-death experience, Alice suspects there might be something going on that not even the police can uncover.
The girl’s older sister, Eva attends Alice’s school, and Alice immediately befriends her. But things change when when Alice learns that Eva is determined to use magic to bring her sister back. She must decide whether to help Eva work the highly dangerous magic or stop her at all costs. After all, no one knows better than Alice the true price of magic.
Fifteen-year-old Alice Montgomery wakes up in the lobby of the B&B where she has been vacationing with her family to a startling discovery: no one can see or hear her. The cheap desk lights have been replaced with gas lamps and the linoleum floor with hardwood and rich Oriental carpeting. Someone has replaced the artwork with eerie paintings of Elizabeth Blackwell, the insane actress and rumored witch who killed herself at the hotel in the 1880s. Alice watches from behind the looking glass where she is haunted by Elizabeth Blackwell. Trapped in the 19th-century version of the hotel, Alice must figure out a way to break Elizabeth’s curse—with the help of Elizabeth's old diary and Tony, the son of a ghost hunter who is investigating the haunted B&B—before she becomes the inn's next victim.
Tips to getting published from behind the scenes (Jessica is both a published author and a grad student in publishing).
"Don't quit your day job." If you've ever told someone about your publishing ambitions, you've probably heard that response. For me, publishing is my day job too. By night I work on my own work in progress, but in the morning I go to work at the country's largest publishing house. Although my job is in production, not editorial, working there has given me a different perspective on the process of trying to get published. So here are some insider tips from the trenches for anyone who's hoping to publish with one of the big five publishing houses:
1) Have an agent.
Unless you are a celebrity, have a wildly successful blog, or are some other kind of Internet sensation, you'll need an agent to get your work seen by the big houses.
2) Don't worry so much about your social media presence. Just write an amazing book.
Thousands of Twitter followers may make you more attractive as an author, but social media won't compensate for an underdeveloped manuscript. Big publishing houses have entire systems in place to help their authors get exposure and build an audience—they are experts at it. You don't need to come to them with a platform in place. If they love your book, they will happily help you build your Internet presence. That's part of their job! So focus on the writing first and don't panic if you aren't an Instagram celebrity by the time your book is ready to submit. Editors are focused on your manuscript—your absent Facebook page won't make the difference between an acceptance and a rejection.
3) Know what you're signing up for.
You may think that signing a deal with a big house will immediately skyrocket your writing career. But the truth is that very few authors—especially debut authors—become bestsellers right out of the gate. Even at big houses, publicity departments have to focus their efforts on a few big books (most of which are by previously bestselling authors). Smaller authors can sometimes feel they've fallen through the cracks. If you're lucky enough to get a book deal, know that you're in good hands—but know that you'll still have to work hard to get your book out there.
4) Know why you didn't get a deal.
If your manuscript is rejected, know that it's not necessarily a judgment on your ability as a writer. Editors are often looking for something specific—something on a certain trend or something to complement the books they already have on their list. There are quite literally a million reasons for an editor to decide not to offer. The good news is that even if they don't end up signing you, they'll remember your name when you submit your next project!
Publishing has always been a challenging industry, and the past few years have been especially hard. The good news is that editors are still positive and they're still eagerly seeking great books. Your amazing manuscript is your greatest asset! If there is anything I have learned from working in publishing, it's that it's never too late. The industry is always hungry for more books to publish, and any writer who keeps at it has a good chance of getting a great book deal. So go forth and be persistent!
Giveaway Information: Contest ends April 1, 2016
· Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of The Lingering Grace (The Looking Glass #2) by Jessica Arnold (INT)