Thursday, April 17, 2014

Happy Release Day TO ME!!!!!!! #DIVIDE is LIVE!

DIVIDE IS LIVE! DIVIDE IS LIVE!



Today we're celebrating the release of DIVIDE--Jessa Russo's upper young adult fantasy fairytale redux of Beauty and the Beast (what a mouthful!)! 

Please join us all day (4/17) on Facebook for the Release Day CELEBRATION!!!
Author visits, surprises, and giveaways you don't want to miss!
Click HERE to RSVP


From senior class president to dejected social outcast, with just the flick of a match.

After accusations of torching her ex-boyfriend’s home are followed by the mysterious poisoning of her ex-best friend, seventeen-year-old Holland Briggs assumes her life is over. And it is. But not in the way she thinks.

As Holland learns the truth about her cursed fate—that she is descended from the Beast most have only ever heard of in fairytales—she unites with an unlikely ally, good-looking newcomer Mick Stevenson. 

Mick knows more about Holland’s twisted history than she does, and enlightening as it is to learn about, his suggestion for a cure is unsettling at best. Holland must fall in love with Mick in order to break the spell, and save their future generations from repeating her cursed fate. Having sworn off love after the betrayals of her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, this may be difficult to accomplish. 

Complicating things further for Holland and Mick, time runs out, and Holland’s change begins way before schedule. With Holland quickly morphing into a dangerous mythical creature, Mick struggles to save her.

Should they fail, Holland will be lost to the beast inside her forever.

video

Celebrating DESTRUCTION by @SharonBayliss: Query Critique Winners!

I enjoy reading and critiquing queries. I don't know why exactly...it's a strange thing to like. I think I just love getting to the point. And, that's what a query is--nothing extra, just the meat of the story.

I even enjoy writing queries (at least a little). But, when I first started the querying process I hated it, and I was bad at it. So, yes it's possible to get better!

If you're interested, here is my how-to post on queries:

The Query Formula

Thank you so much to the brave volunteers who were open to having their queries critiqued publicly! *Gulp* I know it's scary and horrible. I've been there. I'll be honest, but don't worry, I have no interest in showing off how snarky I can be at your expense.

Everyone who had their query critiqued has won a free digital copy of Destruction! Congratulations! I hope you enjoy it. If you don't see your query here, check out www.sharonbayliss.com on 4/19! I plan to put some of them over there as well!

Please help out these brave authors by also posting your own feedback in comments!!

Query #1

Cordelia Ashby is merely a pawn in her own life, wedged firmly between her fiance's manipulations and her parents’ high expectations. Honestly, she’s a pushover. But after finding her fiance in the throes of an affair just hours before their wedding, she’s ready to slink away. Is "slink away" really want you mean here? I feel like it should say something like "ready to finally make a stand." I assume she didn't go through with the wedding, so maybe, "she finally defies both her parents and her fiance and walks out on the wedding." I know she starts off as a passive character, but it sounds like this is the moment where she becomes active, so I suggest giving her something more powerful than a "slink." :)

Moving on isn’t easy for anyone, but for someone who Cordelia has been manipulated by people with selfish intentions for her entire life, it’s almost impossible so standing on her own feels impossible. In an effort to keep from burying her freedom in ice cream, and soap operas, and at cheap motels, I think it makes more sense that way, "cheap motels" didn't make sense as part of the list Cordelia makes a list of all the things she needs to do to get it together and move on. The list starts off simple but after she scores a victory by joining the staff at a downtown bakery, her new co-workers help her to take it to a higher level. The Break-Up Bucket List becomes her guiding light, with tasks such as learning karate to teach her strength, chick flick marathons to clear her soul, and dancing in the rain with a stranger to help her feel alive again. All of these tasks help her to make friends, gain a career, grow up, and even fall in love.

But then her ex decides he can’t afford to let her go. He takes advantage of some crooked business dealings by an embezzling accountant in hopes that shaking the world beneath her would be enough to drive her back home. His plan backfires when Cordelia gains the determination to not only save her home-away-from-home, but fight for all she loves. Cordelia's new found freedom and sense of self is tested, and she must fight to save her home-away-from-home and all she's grown to love. I changed this last part because they way it was phrased sort of gave away the ending, which is a no-no in a query. In this sort of novel, we assume the heroine will win in the end, but don't say it outright, leave it as a question.

CORDELIA ASHBY AND THE LIST, set in the Texas Panhandle, is around 66,000 words and crafted to appeal to those who enjoy chick literature, but could live without the designer handbags. Do people actually ever call it chick "literature"? :) It sounded funny to me that way. But, it's not my genre, so if you think that's right, ignore me.

I am an English major at West Texas A&M University and a book blogger. My fiction is currently unpublished.

Thank you for your time and it's a pleasure to make your acquaintance!
I think this query is excellent. You clearly laid out the important parts of the plot, and showed your voice with the cute details. Even in the space of a short query, you can see the character growth and you root for her. I made a few suggestions, but I think this is pretty much query ready. Good job!

---

Query #2

Most people have a funny story about how they met their spouse.  Jacoby Mortensen often imagined how he'd meet the love of his life, but he never expected to find found his future husband half-dead in the seedy part of Council Bluffs, Iowa.  I'm not in love with the first line, for one thing, Jacoby's story isn't exactly funny. :) I think that's the twist you meant, it left me a little "wha?". But more importantly, it's too general--bring Jacoby and his story into the query immediately.

Getting attached to a seventeen-year-old John Doe goes against every rule of first responders. For the sake of detail, I'd like to know what kind of first responder he is. Paramedic? Also, this makes me wonder how old Jacoby is. I know Jimmy is legal, but it might be helpful to know that Jacoby isn't that much older than him so we know this isn't too creepy. :) But the longer Jacoby sat at Jimmy's bed side, the more attached he grew, they were married only a few months later. And no matter how many times Jimmy ran away, back to the drugs and the streets, Jacoby was at home, waiting for him. He took his vows seriously and, if that meant combing the streets trying to bring his husband home, so be it. It seems like A LOT happened in those last few lines. At the beginning of the paragraph, he just met Jimmy, and now they're married. Even if it's just a line, it might be helpful to make this transition a little more overt, as per my suggestion above.

When Jimmy goes off his meds again this time around, Jacoby doesn't think he's strong enough to make the marriage work anymore. Jimmy not only goes off his meds, he goes off his rocker at work, too.  I don't think we need this. It's too similar to the last line and not critical for understanding. Once he's released from the psych ward, he promises to stay on his meds, but Jacoby doesn't believe him.

Jacoby loves Jimmy and is determined to keep their marriage together. But he's got to keep his husband clean and sober. Jimmy refuses to take care of himself and Jacoby is going slowly insane. Then, Jimmy makes a decision that could change their marriage forever. Often, I see authors making vague statements like the last sentence because they don't want to give too much away. I understand that fear, but this sentence is way too vague for me. It sounds like this decision was powerful and important to the story, but we can't know that if you don't tell us! Try telling us what actually happens here, then we can understand what's really at stake for the characters and we'll be more invested. And now Jacoby has to decide just how much Jimmy means to him—and to what lengths he'll go to keep the marriage together.


RESCUE ME is contemporary LGBT fiction romance complete at 85,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration. From the query, this seems to classify as romance pretty clearly since the primary plot line is about their relationship.

Don't fret! I think this is pretty close. You just need a few minor changes to make the plot line as clear as possible. My most important suggestion is telling us what Jimmy's decision is. I'm sure it's interesting and important, but the agent doesn't know that unless you tell us what it is! Good luck!

---

Thank you all so much for sharing your queries! On the whole, I'm impressed with how good they were. I think as a group, authors are getting better at this.

Now, if you don't mind, please check out my new release... :)



Introducing a new dark wizard family drama, Destruction by Sharon Bayliss, Book One in The December People Series.
BUY NOW

An independent family-owned bookstore. The ONLY place to buy signed copies!

A locally owned book store in Austin, Texas.



David Vandergraff wants to be a good man. He goes to church every Sunday, keeps his lawn trim and green, and loves his wife and kids more than anything. Unfortunately, being a dark wizard isn't a choice.

Eleven years ago, David's secret second family went missing. When his two lost children are finally found, he learns they suffered years of unthinkable abuse. Ready to make things right, David brings the kids home even though it could mean losing the wife he can’t imagine living without. 

Keeping his life together becomes harder when the new children claim to be dark wizards. David believes they use this fantasy to cope with their trauma. Until, David's wife admits a secret of her own—she is a dark wizard too, as is David, and all of their children.  

Now, David must parent two hurting children from a dark world he doesn’t understand and keep his family from falling apart. All while dealing with the realization that everyone he loves, including himself, may be evil.


Destruction (Book One of The December People Series)





The Author

Sharon Bayliss is the author of The December People Series and The Charge. When she’s not writing, she enjoys living happily-ever-after with her husband and two young sons. She can be found eating Tex-Mex on patios, wearing flip-flops, and playing in the mud (which she calls gardening). She only practices magic in emergencies.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Happy Release Day, @SharonBayliss! DESTRUCTION is here! #TheDecemberPeople



Introducing a new dark wizard family drama, Destruction by Sharon Bayliss, Book One in The December People Series.
BUY NOW

An independent family-owned bookstore. The ONLY place to buy signed copies!

A locally owned book store in Austin, Texas.



David Vandergraff wants to be a good man. He goes to church every Sunday, keeps his lawn trim and green, and loves his wife and kids more than anything. Unfortunately, being a dark wizard isn't a choice.

Eleven years ago, David's secret second family went missing. When his two lost children are finally found, he learns they suffered years of unthinkable abuse. Ready to make things right, David brings the kids home even though it could mean losing the wife he can’t imagine living without. 

Keeping his life together becomes harder when the new children claim to be dark wizards. David believes they use this fantasy to cope with their trauma. Until, David's wife admits a secret of her own—she is a dark wizard too, as is David, and all of their children.  

Now, David must parent two hurting children from a dark world he doesn’t understand and keep his family from falling apart. All while dealing with the realization that everyone he loves, including himself, may be evil.


Destruction (Book One of The December People Series)





The Author

Sharon Bayliss is the author of The December People Series and The Charge. When she’s not writing, she enjoys living happily-ever-after with her husband and two young sons. She can be found eating Tex-Mex on patios, wearing flip-flops, and playing in the mud (which she calls gardening). She only practices magic in emergencies.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Cover Reveal: CHARMING by @KrystalWade!

Popular young adult author Krystal Wade has a thrilling new novel coming out October, 2014! The spine-tingling suspense in CHARMING will get your heart rate up. We promise you. We have a fun jigsaw puzzle of the cover for you guys! 

Go on, give it a try!


CHARMING

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and that's great . . . as long as you don't die. 

 Sixteen-year-old Haley Tremaine had it all: top-notch school, fantastic family, and a bright future, but all of that changed when an accident tore her family apart. Now, an alcoholic father, a bitter younger sister, and a cold headstone bearing her mother’s name are all she has left. 

 Chris Charming has it all: a powerful CEO for a father, a prestigious school, and a fortune at his fingertips, but none of that matters when he lands a reputation as a troublemaker. Struggling to follow in his father’s footsteps, he reaches out to the one person he believes truly sees him, the one person he wants: Haley. 

 Little do they know someone's determined to bring the two together, even if it means murder. 

 Add CHARMING to your TBR pile on Goodreads!   






Krystal Wade can be found in the sluglines outside Washington D.C. every morning, Monday through Friday. 

With coffee in hand, iPod plugged in, and strangers - who sometimes snore, smell, or have incredibly bad gas - sitting next to her, she zones out and thinks of fantastical worlds for you and me to read. 

How else can she cope with a fifty mile commute? 
Good thing she has her husband and three kids to go home to. They keep her sane. 





Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cover Reveal! THE BOOK OF BART by @J_Ryan

Behold! The cover for Ryan Hill's debut YA Paranormal novel THE BOOK OF BART, coming May 22nd from Curiosity Quills Press! 


Only one thing is so powerful, so dangerous that Heaven and Hell must work together to find it: the Shard of Gabriel.

With a mysterious Black Cloud of Death hot on the shard’s trail, a desperate Heaven enlists the help of Bart, a demon who knows more about the shard than almost anyone. Six years ago, he had it in his hands. If only he’d used it before his coup to overthrow the devil failed. Now, he’s been sprung from his eternal punishment to help Samantha, an angel in training, recover the shard before the Black Cloud of Death finds it.

If Bartholomew wants to succeed, he’ll have to fight the temptation to betray Samantha and the allure of the shard. After an existence full of evil, the only way Bart can get right with Hell is to be good.

Be sure to grab your copy of THE BOOK OF BART on release day! 
May 22, 2014

Links:

Monday, April 7, 2014

Woot! QUERY CRITIQUE by @SharonBayliss: Call for Submissions!

Are you guys ready for this!? To celebrate the release of her new book, DESTRUCTION, author Sharon Bayliss has offered to do a query critique on my blog!


(That's Sharon over there!) HI SHARON! 
<----------------------------------


Here's what you need to do:



1) Look at your query. Does it make you want to cry? Throw things? Hide?
(If you've answered yes, please proceed to Question 2. If you've answered no, congratulations!)


2) Look at your rejections. Are they all form or 'Dear Author'? *cringes with you*
(If you've answered yes, please proceed to Question 3. If you've answered no, congratulations!)

3) Take a deep breath. We're here to help.

4) Submit your queries directly to 
Sharon at bayliss.queries at gmail dot com
(submission window closes on Thursday, April 10th at 12:00pm pacific time)

5) Cross your fingers, then check back here on Thursday, April 17th to see if your query was selected for a critique!



Meanwhile, please show your love for Sharon--and of course your immense gratitude for this opportunity--by adding DESTRUCTION on Goodreads and possibly tweeting about her upcoming release and this query critique opportunity!!!


DESTRUCTION
The December People Series, Book One

David Vandergraff wants to be a good man. He goes to church every Sunday, keeps his lawn trim and green, and loves his wife and kids more than anything. Unfortunately, being a dark wizard isn't a choice.

Eleven years ago, David's secret second family went missing. When his two lost children are finally found, he learns they suffered years of unthinkable abuse. Ready to make things right, David brings the kids home even though it could mean losing the wife he can’t imagine living without. 

Keeping his life together becomes harder when the new children claim to be dark wizards. David believes they use this fantasy to cope with their trauma. Until, David's wife admits a secret of her own—she is a dark wizard too, as is David, and all of their children. 

Now, David must parent two hurting children from a dark world he doesn’t understand and keep his family from falling apart. All while dealing with the realization that everyone he loves, including himself, may be evil.

Sharon on Twitter
Sharon's Website


Friday, March 28, 2014

Check it out! DIVIDE's Cover Reveal! The FULL MONTY! :-D




DIVIDE
by
Jessa Russo
Young Adult Fantasy / Fairytale Redux
Release Date: April 17th, 2014



From senior class president to dejected social outcast, with just the flick of a match.
After accusations of torching her ex-boyfriend’s home are followed by the mysterious poisoning of her ex-best friend, seventeen-year-old Holland Briggs assumes her life is over. And it is. But not in the way she thinks.
As Holland learns the truth about her cursed fate—that she is descended from the Beast most have only ever heard of in fairytales—she unites with an unlikely ally, good-looking newcomer Mick Stevenson. 
Mick knows more about Holland’s twisted history than she does, and enlightening as it is to learn about, his suggestion for a cure is unsettling at best. Holland must fall in love with Mick in order to break the spell, and save their future generations from repeating her cursed fate. Having sworn off love after the betrayals of her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, this may be difficult to accomplish. 
Complicating things further for Holland and Mick, time runs out, and Holland’s change begins way before schedule. With Holland quickly morphing into a dangerous mythical creature, Mick struggles to save her. 
Should they fail, Holland will be lost to the beast inside her forever.



Links:



Trailer:

video

Do you want to be a part of the release day blast or blog tour? Maybe even write a review?
Please sign up HERE!