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Viewing Blog: Funky Fruit Book & Movie Reviews, Most Recent at Top
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Welcome to Christy & Kristi's book reviews. What makes us qualified to do this? Well - we like books. We've been in a book club for over 10 years now, so we've read a LOT o' books. Also, we're very different, highly-opinionated women who disagree ALL the time. So you know if we agree on a movie or book that it must be GOOD!!! We welcome comments whether you agree or disagree with our picks - also feel free to suggest books/movies to review.
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26. Friday Book Recommendation-Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride

I haven't done a book recommendation in awhile, so here you go. My rec for this week is Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride. It was a William C. Morris Debut Award Finalist, but I didn't even know that until after I read it. I'm an unashamed title and cover whore, so I knew nothing about this book except that the cover grabbed me (and made me sing along in my head to the Elton John tune). I'll wait a minute while you sing it too. Done? Okay, so here's the great cover:


 
And the description from Goodreads:

Sam leads a pretty normal life. He may not have the most exciting job in the world, but he’s doing all right—until a fast food prank brings him to the attention of Douglas, a creepy guy with an intense violent streak.

Turns out Douglas is a necromancer who raises the dead for cash and sees potential in Sam. Then Sam discovers he’s a necromancer too, but with strangely latent powers. And his worst nightmare wants to join forces . . . or else.

With only a week to figure things out, Sam needs all the help he can get. Luckily he lives in Seattle, which has nearly as many paranormal types as it does coffee places. But even with newfound friends, will Sam be able to save his skin?
 

Why I liked it: This was such a fast and fun read--seriously, the chapter titles alone are worth it. I loved Sam and thought his character was well-developed and real (plus a lot of the genre YA I read tends to have female MC's, so Sam was a refreshing change of pace). Also, I love me some snark which is found aplenty in this book. There were a few plot issues I had to overlook, but I'm really nitpicky. Overall, if you're looking for fun genre fiction, this book is a definite win. I don't often get around to sequels but I would read a sequel to this in a heartbeat.Happy reading!


2 Comments on Friday Book Recommendation-Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride, last added: 9/8/2012
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27. MSFV Blog Hop--Interview and Book Giveaway by Leah Petersen

Welcome to what will hopefully be the first of the Annual Authoress’ Success Story blog tours! Those of us who have owed our publishing successes, at least in part, to the Miss Snark’s First Victim contests and blog have decided to come together and help cross promote each other’s work.  Every day in the first two weeks of August, a different author will be posting an interview of one of our fellow Success Stories, so make sure to tune in to everyone’s blogs (there’s a list below). Also, if you haven't checked out my interview on Amanda Sun's blog from yesterday, you still have time to enter to win a first chapter critique from moi.

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing the awesome Leah Petersen. Leah is giving away an ebook copy of her book Fighting Gravity to one lucky commenter! Just comment below for a chance to win this:


"When Jacob Dawes is selected for the Imperial Intellectual Complex as a child, he's catapulted from the poverty-stricken slums of his birth into a world where his status as an unclass is something no one can forget, or forgive. His growing scientific renown draws the attention of the emperor, a young man Jacob's own age, and they find themselves drawn to each other in an unlikely and ill-advised relationship. Jacob may have won the emperor's heart, but it's no protection when he's accused of treason. And fighting his own execution would mean betraying the man he loves."
 
Leah Petersen lives in North Carolina. She does the day-job, wife, and mother thing, much like everyone else. She prides herself on being able to hold a book with her feet so she can knit while reading. She’s still working on knitting while writing. Make sure to check out Leah's blog and follow her on Twitter.
Her first novel, Fighting Gravity, is available now from Dragon Moon Press.

Welcome Leah--I'm from North Carolina too! I think you need to post a pic of the knitting while reading thing, because that is amazing. So can you tell us how participating on the MSFV blog helped get you where you are now?
 
Leah: The short(ish) version is that I got into one of the monthly Secret Agent contests (back when it was simply the first 25 or 50 that got into the mailbox, purely a trigger finger rather than a merit thing.) The agent had some pointed criticism of my opening, and little about it that she thought worked. Ouch. Well, I took her critique and worked on making it better. The next month, Authoress announced the open submission period for Dragon Moon Press. They looked like a good fit for me so I queried with my revised draft and they asked for the full. The next day I got an email asking if we could have a phone conversation. And the rest is history.

I think the nice thing about my story is that it shows how many ways authors can benefit from Authoress's site and the community there. It's not just about winning the contests or auctions. There's value in what you can learn there, and the connections and network and community Authoress has built there.
 
That's a great story, and highlights how every path to publication is different. One of the things that struck me about your book was the LGBT aspect. As a writer who has a gay character in my current novel, I'm wondering if this was an obstacle for you in terms of publishing.

Leah: You know, I expected it to, but the opposite was true. In fact, my editor told me that someone she mentioned it to remarked that it was the LGBT angle that made it such a unique and interesting concept.

That's awesome. So can you tell us what you're working on right now, and why are you excited about it?
 
Right now I'm working on the sequel to Fighting Gravity, currently called Cascade Effect. I was actually less than excited about it a few weeks ago because the summer is such a busy time for me and it was just another thing that required my time. But a couple of weeks ago my dad read Fighting Gravity for the first time and he liked it so much that my aunt decided to read it and she raved about it so her assistant is now reading it and my coworker... (this is a family business, so we're all working in the same office.) 

Anyway, watching real people in my life get excited about my characters and want to know what happens next has helped my find my excitement again.
 
 
I can relate to summer being super busy, but how cool to have family that is so supportive of you!  What advice do you have for those who are still in the query trenches?

Learn from it. Don't just flog the query process with an exclusive focus on landing an agent. I learned A LOT about writing and the publishing industry from querying at a slow, measured pace and reading as much as I could about how to go about it in the meantime. 
 
That is so true--I felt like I had gained so much knowledge about writing and the publishing industry by the time I got an agent. What is your writing process like (e.g. are you a morning/evening writer?)

I'm a catch-it-when-you-can writer. I tend to devote chunks of time to writing one or two days a week rather than smaller, regular periods. Even I don't think it's ideal, but it's what works for me. My muse resents being told what to do. If I dictate time and place to her, she tends to get huffy and uncooperative.  
 
Your writing style sounds a lot like mine--your muse and my muse must be related. Can you tell us something about yourself we'd be surprised to know?

I celebrated the sale of Fighting Gravity by getting a new tattoo. It's a solar eclipse.   
 
That is very cool, and very brave. My tattoos are applied by my 5-yo and wash off easily. Last bonus question for you: What are you reading right now? Which authors inspire you?

I've been on a huge reading kick lately and I've probably read three books this week already. (It's Wednesday as I write this.) Today I'm on Kushiel's Avatar, by Jacqueline Carey.

If the characters are compelling enough that I hurt and bleed and jump for joy with them, then that's a good book. I'm inspired by any author who can do that. 


Oh, the Kushiel series have been read by several women in my book club (myself included), and are such a great guilty-pleasure read! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today, Leah.  

Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered in Leah's book giveaway, and check out Leah's blog tomorrow when she interviews Monica Bustamante Wagner.   
 
Visit the whole crew:
BlogTwitterPosting   Date
David   Kazzie@davidkazzie1-Aug
Leigh   Talbert Moore@leightmoore2-Aug
J.Anderson   Coats@jandersoncoats3-Aug
J.M.   Frey@scifrey4-Aug
Elissa   Cruz@elissacruz5-Aug
Amanda   Sun@Amanda_Sun6-Aug
Kristi Helvig@KristiHelvig7-Aug
Leah   Petersen@Leahpetersen8-Aug
Monica   Bustamante Wagner@Monica_BW9-Aug
Emily   Kokie@emkokie10-Aug
Monica   Goulet@MonicaGoulet11-Aug
Peter   Salomon@petersalomon12-Aug
Sarah   Brand@sarahbbrand13-Aug
Angela Ackerman@angelaackerman   & @writerthesaurus14-Aug
Tara   Dairman@TaraDairman15-Aug

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28. First Chapter Critique and Interview

Today is my day to be hosted on the Miss Snark's First Victim Blog Hop! Check out my interview over at the fabulous Amanda Sun's blog where I'm giving away a first chapter critique to one lucky winner. Stop back tomorrow when I interview the awesome Leah Peterson.

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29. Query Critique Winner

The Random Number Generator has spoken and the winner is #5..TL Sumner! Congrats! I'll email instructions regarding your query critique. Thanks to everyone who entered, and check back soon for another chance to win! I'll be back in a few weeks with another Query Critique Wednesday.

If you need a query critique ASAP, check out my new query services link to the right!

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30. Wednesday Query Critique Giveaway

It's Wednesday Query Critique time! Remember to enter by midnight EST in order for your chance to win the weekly query critique.


REMINDERS: These critiques are for those who prefer a private critique versus a public one. Please read my prior post on Query Tips before entering. Also, as mentioned in my big giveaway, I tend to be very direct and picky, but my goal is to get your query in the best shape possible. Finally, the query is only the first step--make sure the entire book is as good as the query before you hit "Send" to an agent or editor. To enter the weekly query critique giveaway, simply follow the directions below. Good luck!

RULES:
Just leave a comment telling me you'd like to be entered in the giveaway and give your email address, using (at) and (com) as follows so the spam bots don't find you. I will use a random number generator to pick the winner who will receive a query critique through email.

NOTE: If your query involves space monkeys, I might make an exception and do an extra critique!

6 Comments on Wednesday Query Critique Giveaway, last added: 8/1/2012
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31. Why Writing Isn't Enough

I'm not saying that you can't call yourself a writer if you do nothing more than toil away on your manuscripts for hours, days, even years. However, at some point, most people want others to see their work. Though the joy of writing is what keeps us going, behind it is the hope that others will find joy in our work through reading it. Whether you're writing a family genealogy meant only for close relatives, or you're writing a commercial novel for the masses, at some point, writing means putting your work out there...which can be scary.

It's much safer to keep your writing tucked away on your hard drive, or in a trunk under the bed, because exposing it to daylight invites possible judgment and criticism. Some writers are sensitive by nature, but writing is not for the skin-thinned, so where should you start? I started with a critique group, and think a good critique group (consisting of fellow writers) is worth its weight in gold. Other writers are the best resource (IMHO) for pointing out your own strengths and areas for growth as a writer.You can find them through professional writers groups, conferences, and online message boards or blogs. Use the feedback to make your work the best it can be. But you can't stop there.

At some point, you have to bite the bullet and put your work out there. Whether it's querying agents and editors if you aspire to a traditional book deal, or hiring an editor and then self-publishing, no one can read your book if it's not available. This doesn't mean rushing things. Take your time to write, revise, edit, and polish your book to a high gloss. But if writing and all that goes into making a complete novel is Step #1, make sure you eventually push yourself to do Step 2). Put it out there. 

Which step are you on? Any tips for those struggling with Step 2?

7 Comments on Why Writing Isn't Enough, last added: 8/1/2012
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32. Miss Snark's First Victim Blog Hop

Hi all--Guess what? We’re just about to begin what will hopefully be the first of the Annual Authoress’s Success Story blog tours!

Authoress Anonymous has built a strong and supportive community on her blog Miss Snark’s First Victim: a community of writers, critiques, hopefuls, agents, editors, and readers. There, writers can participate in contests designed to help them practice giving and receiving critiques, polish their hooks, spiffy up query letters, and gain exposure to literary agents… and, in the case of some writers, get offered representation or publishing deals!

Over twenty professional authors now owe some part of their successes to Authoress, the incredibly generous people who participate in her contests, and her blog. Those of us who have owed our publishing successes to MSFV (including yours truly) have decided to come together to celebrate both MSFV, Authoress, and to help cross promote each other’s work.
Every day in the first two weeks of August, a different author will be posting an interview of one of our fellow Success Stories. There might even be some giveaways, so don’t miss a single blog post! Make sure to tune in to everyone’s blogs from August 1st to the 15th, and to follow the hash tag #MSFVSuccessStory this month for more details, tidbits, and info. See you there!
2 Comments on Miss Snark's First Victim Blog Hop, last added: 7/30/2012
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33. Blog Silence

Out of respect for the senseless loss of lives here in Colorado this week, I am not going to post for this week. Blogging about things like writing tips seems ridiculous right now. I am heartbroken for those who lost loved ones in that movie theater, and I'm angry that it happened in the first place. I get that "guns don't kill, people do," but we sure make it easy when someone can purchase 6,000 rounds of ammo and 4 guns and no one blinks an eye. It would have been much more difficult for him to kill if he'd had to stab each person to death instead. As I live close to both Columbine and the movie theater (and many here are still dealing with the aftermath of the wildfires), I can say that Colorado is a little shell-shocked right now. I won't be online much this week, but my deepest condolences go out to those affected by this tragedy. I hope that everyone takes time to tell their families that they love them, and remember to make every moment count. 




1 Comments on Blog Silence, last added: 7/21/2012
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34. Query Critique Winner

The Random Number Generator has spoken and the winner is #2..Feaky Snucker! Congrats! I'll email instructions regarding your query critique. Thanks to everyone who entered, and check back soon for another chance to win! I'll be back in a few weeks with another Query Critique Wednesday. In the meantime, check out my new query services link to the right if you need a query critique ASAP.

0 Comments on Query Critique Winner as of 7/19/2012 6:31:00 AM
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35. Wednesday Query Critique Giveaway

It's Wednesday Query Critique time! Remember to enter by midnight EST in order for your chance to win the weekly query critique.


REMINDERS: These critiques are for those who prefer a private critique versus a public one. Please read my prior post on Query Tips before entering. Also, as mentioned in my big giveaway, I tend to be very direct and picky, but my goal is to get your query in the best shape possible. Finally, the query is only the first step--make sure the entire book is as good as the query before you hit "Send" to an agent or editor. To enter the weekly query critique giveaway, simply follow the directions below. Good luck!

RULES:
Just leave a comment telling me you'd like to be entered in the giveaway and give your email address, using (at) and (com) as follows so the spam bots don't find you. 
I will use a random number generator to pick the winner who will receive a query critique through email.

NOTE: If your query involves space monkeys, I might make an exception and do an extra critique!

5 Comments on Wednesday Query Critique Giveaway, last added: 7/18/2012
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36. Query Critique Winner

The Random Number Generator has spoken and the winner is #2..Patesden! Congrats! I'll email instructions regarding your query critique. Thanks to everyone who entered, and check back soon for another chance to win! Also, please keep noting how many times you've entered because I've been doing extra critiques for persistent folks who have entered 5 or more times in a row. Good luck! :)

2 Comments on Query Critique Winner, last added: 7/12/2012
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37. Wednesday Query Critique Giveaway

It's Wednesday Query Critique time! Remember to enter by midnight EST in order for your chance to win the weekly query critique.


REMINDERS: These critiques are for those who prefer a private critique versus a public one. Please read my prior post on Query Tips before entering. Also, as mentioned in my big giveaway, I tend to be very direct and picky, but my goal is to get your query in the best shape possible. Finally, the query is only the first step--make sure the entire book is as good as the query before you hit "Send" to an agent or editor. To enter the weekly query critique giveaway, simply follow the directions below. Good luck!

RULES:
Just leave a comment telling me you'd like to be entered in the giveaway and give your email address, using (at) and (com) as follows so the spam bots don't find you. 
I will use a random number generator to pick the winner who will receive a query critique through email.

NOTE: If your query involves space monkeys, I might make an exception and do an extra critique!

9 Comments on Wednesday Query Critique Giveaway, last added: 7/12/2012
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38. How Do You Reward Yourself?

When you're writing a novel, I'm a big believer in rewarding yourself for achieving the baby steps along the way. For instance, when I'm in the revision process after finishing my first draft, I reward myself with chocolate after revising each chapter (don't judge). I'd like to say the satisfaction of writing and revising is entirely its own reward, but sometimes I need that extra shot of motivation.



So when I really want to push myself, the reward needs to be bigger, and then I'm way more likely to reach my goal. I don't watch much television and don't have any of those recording thingies to watch shows later, but I have a crazy addiction to Design Star on HGTV--I know, some people have a  wild side, and mine is dan-ger-ous. Anyway, guess who hit her word count goal last week with over 30 minutes to spare? This girl. It's on again tonight and I'm sure I'll hit my goal today too, because no way in hell am I missing David Bromstad's pep talks regarding room decor (I'm so badass like that).

Now that I've confessed my sure-fire writing reward, I want to know about you. How do you reward yourself? (It's okay if your method isn't as hard-core as mine. Not everyone can be this cool. ;)       

4 Comments on How Do You Reward Yourself?, last added: 7/11/2012
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39. God and Guns

I live in a town that bows down to the two big G's: God and Guns (I think in that order, but it's not always clear). Needless to say, 4th of July is probably second only to Christmas here in terms of celebration. People wear a badge of pride about crossing the border into Wyoming before the 4th to get the good (aka illegal) fireworks. Competitions for the best fireworks are common place, and authorities often look the other way at the "dangerous" kind. One of the best illegal displays last year was the guy down the block from me--who happens to be a firefighter.

Despite the ban on all fireworks this year (including the town's big extravaganza) due to the worst year of wildfires on record, my hubby and I were sure that someone would shoot off something to mark America's holiday. We were positive that some jerk would endanger others by taking issue with their God-given right to bear firearms or fireworks. We were wrong.

One of the themes I explore in my novels is just what it would take to bring people together and forget their differences, be they political, religious, or otherwise. I'm not sure what the answer was tonight, but the silence was deafening.

Maybe it was the smoke that still hung thick in the air from the fires, prompting an air advisory to stay indoors. Maybe it was the fact that an entire neighborhood burned to the ground less than forty minutes from here, leaving only razed houses and dead bodies in its wake. Maybe the answer, sad as it is, is that it takes something horrific for people to come together.

All I know is that not a single firecracker was heard the entire night. The eerie quiet seemed to symbolize that people realized their families and neighborhoods were more important than anything else. That maybe we have more in common than we, or the media, want to believe. I don't know if I can live here forever, but I found a spark of humanity in the silence tonight. For now, that is enough.

8 Comments on God and Guns, last added: 7/6/2012
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40. Longhand versus Laptop

Up until now, I've written my novels solely via laptop. Sure, I've mapped out outlines, ideas, and characters in a notebook (okay, so I have notebooks everywhere, and it might be an addiction, but that's a different post), but the actual writing has taken place at my computer. Then I had something weird happen a few weeks ago.

(NOTE: This is not the actual pen used, but I am SO getting this pen one day!)

I had a client need to reschedule an appointment at work, which left me with an entire hour of writing time--except that my laptop was at home. For some reason, I pulled out my legal pad rather than the cute flowered notebooks I usually carry, and decided to write a chapter. The words flew onto the page, and when I typed them into the computer that night, I'd written almost 3K words...in an hour. For me, that's a lotta words, and even though I took shorthand in high school, I also took typing, so I couldn't believe how fast I was. The other strange part was that when I went back the next day to edit, it required way less editing than usual. In the next two days, I easily wrote two more chapters that way. I know there are studies out there about enhanced neural activity and increased memory capacity in writing versus typing, but I'd never tried it out for myself.


Summer with the kiddos has challenged my writing time, but my goal for this week is to get 10K words completed, because I'm excited to finish my new book...and because my agent is waiting patiently for it.;)

Have you tried writing in longhand versus typing? Anyone else notice a difference?

Oh, and Happy July 4th! The Wednesday Query Critique will be back next Wed. 7/11.

6 Comments on Longhand versus Laptop, last added: 7/5/2012
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41. Query Critique Winner

The Random Number Generator has spoken and the winner is #1..Laura Hughes! Congrats--I guess 5th time is the charm! I'll email instructions regarding your query critique. Thanks to everyone who entered, and check back soon for another chance to win! Also, please keep noting how many times you've entered because I've been doing extra critiques for persistent folks who have entered 5 or more times in a row. Good luck! :)

4 Comments on Query Critique Winner, last added: 6/30/2012
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42. Wednesday Query Critique Giveaway

It's Wednesday Query Critique time! Remember to enter by midnight EST in order for your chance to win the weekly query critique.


REMINDERS: These critiques are for those who prefer a private critique versus a public one. Please read my prior post on Query Tips before entering. Also, as mentioned in my big giveaway, I tend to be very direct and picky, but my goal is to get your query in the best shape possible. Finally, the query is only the first step--make sure the entire book is as good as the query before you hit "Send" to an agent or editor. To enter the weekly query critique giveaway, simply follow the directions below. Good luck!

RULES:
Just leave a comment telling me you'd like to be entered in the giveaway and give your email address, using (at) and (com) as follows so the spam bots don't find you. 
I will use a random number generator to pick the winner who will receive a query critique through email.

NOTE: If your query involves space monkeys, I might make an exception and do an extra critique!

10 Comments on Wednesday Query Critique Giveaway, last added: 6/27/2012
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43. Do You Have What It Takes?

Writing is fun, but it's not easy. It takes long hours, dedication, and the willingness to revise something for the umpteenth time until you (or your agent/editor) are happy with it. 

"I'd like to write a book someday too, when I have the time to fritter away." I got that comment from a well-meaning friend of mine who knows I'm a writer: I think it was the "fritter away" part that actually made my teeth grind together. Writers know that there is no magic time fairy who waves her wand over us and gives us blocks of time that other mere mortals don't have (that would be SO cool though). The difference between people who write books and the people who just talk about writing books is simple. People who write books commit to the writing. 

We write when other people are watching reality shows. We write until the wee hours of the night when everyone else is asleep (long after the caffeine has worn off). We rise at ungodly hours to squeeze in several pages before work or before the kids wake up (long before the caffeine has kicked in.) Even when not writing, we are thinking about writing. Plot issues and characterization get worked out in the shower or while folding laundry. Whether we eek out a paragraph at a time, or multiple pages in a sitting, we keep writing...and writing...until we have a finished book.

We have families, jobs, volunteer commitments, and chores (did I mention laundry?), just like everyone else. Unlike everyone else, we commit to telling stories, one sentence at a time. I'm a writer. What about you?

Do you have what it takes? 

13 Comments on Do You Have What It Takes?, last added: 6/27/2012
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44. Wednesday Query Critique Giveaway

QUICK NOTE: If you haven't entered the Creative Curse Word Contest, you can still enter by Fri. to win the YA book of your choice, so get cursing!

It's Wednesday Query Critique time! Remember to enter by midnight EST in order for your chance to win the weekly query critique.

REMINDERS: These critiques are for those who prefer a private critique versus a public one. Please read my prior post on Query Tips before entering. Also, as mentioned in my big giveaway, I tend to be very direct and picky, but my goal is to get your query in the best shape possible. Finally, the query is only the first step--make sure the entire book is as good as the query before you hit "Send." To enter the weekly query critique giveaway, simply follow the directions below. Good luck!

RULES:
Just leave a comment telling me you'd like to be entered in the giveaway and give your email address, using (at) and (com) as follows so the spam bots don't find you. 
I will use a random number generator to pick the winner who will receive a query critique through email. NOTE: If your query involves space monkeys, I might make an exception and do an extra critique!

7 Comments on Wednesday Query Critique Giveaway, last added: 5/30/2012
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45. Query Critique Winner

The Random Number Generator has spoken and the winner is...Dan Hanks! I'll email instructions regarding your query critique. Thanks to everyone who entered, and check back soon for another chance to win! Also, please keep noting how many times you've entered because I've been doing extra critiques for persistent folks who have entered 5 or more times in a row. Good luck! :)

3 Comments on Query Critique Winner, last added: 5/31/2012
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46. Creative Curse Word Contest Winner

Wow, there are some creative cursers out there, and I applaud each and every one of you. Seriously, thanks to everyone who entered and shared their words with the world. I had a hard time picking the winner, and even had my husband read the entries. He laughed at the sames ones I did, but this doesn't mean the judging was objective--it just means we have the same weird sense of humor. Anyway, here are the results:

1st Runner Up: Wild Ape for "Petarded." I'm not sure why I loved this word so much. It could have been the Shakespearean influence which reminded me of terms like "thou artless elf-skinned horn-beast," or the close proximity to the politically incorrect term for doing something stupid. Either way, this word is great.
NOTE: In the event that the winner is either unable or unwilling to uphold the expectations of winning (or if nude pictures of the winner are discovered in Playboy), the 1st Runner Up will win the prize.

GRAND-PRIZE WINNER: Feaky Snucker wins for "Cork Sucking Ice Hole." The R-rated version of this entry also had me (and my hubby) laughing, and I'm still trying to find a way to work it into a conversation (e.g. that guy in accounting is a total f*ck-shovel). Congrats, Feaky Snucker, you win the YA book of your choice!

We'll do another contest soon, so let me know if you have any creative contest ideas! I'll be back with the regular Wednesday Query Critique next week. :)

6 Comments on Creative Curse Word Contest Winner, last added: 6/9/2012
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47. Query Strategies--The Batch Method

For those who wish to pursue the traditional path to publication, it often involves finding an agent who will, in turn, submit your work to editors at publishing houses. In order to find an agent, one must send out query letters. The purpose of my Wednesday Query Critique Giveaway (which I swear I'm getting back to next week) is to help people polish their queries before they send them out into the world. If you're at the stage where you're ready to query, and have carefully researched agents using sites such as Querytracker and AgentQuery, here's why I'm a proponent of sending queries out in batches of 3-5 (aka The Batch Method):

1) If you don't get any responses other than form rejections or the sound of chirping crickets, your query likely needs work. The good news is that since you only sent out a few queries, you haven't used up all your top picks at once.

2) If you get partial requests off the bat, then you know your query doesn't suck, BUT that's all it means (sorry, harsh but true). Wait and see what happens. If the partial requests are all rejected, then it means the book didn't live up to the query. Take any personalized feedback to heart and work on the book again before sending out more queries. Again, because you're using the batch method, you still have a ton more agents to query.

3) If the partial requests turn into full requests, then you should do a little happy dance because it's definitely a step in the right direction. I'd also recommend sending queries to any remaining top choices if you haven't already because things can move pretty quickly at this point. Some people recommend waiting until you actually have an offer of representation and then dashing off queries to any remaining top picks, but that feels icky to me. If you've done your research, you should only be querying agents that you feel confident about in the first place.


Has anyone used this method? Any other tips people would like to share about querying? 

Happy Querying! And I'll be back with Query Critique Wednesday next week.    

6 Comments on Query Strategies--The Batch Method, last added: 6/16/2012
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48. Guest post over at Rainy of the Dark blog

If you haven't checked out my guest post over at Rainy of the Dark, head on over: When the Writing Gets Tough, The Tough Get Writing...eventually. Thanks to Rainy for having me! :)

0 Comments on Guest post over at Rainy of the Dark blog as of 1/1/1900
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49. Wednesday Query Critique Giveaway

It's Wednesday Query Critique time! (See, I promised it would be back this week.) Remember to enter by midnight EST in order for your chance to win the weekly query critique.


REMINDERS: These critiques are for those who prefer a private critique versus a public one. Please read my prior post on Query Tips before entering. Also, as mentioned in my big giveaway, I tend to be very direct and picky, but my goal is to get your query in the best shape possible. Finally, the query is only the first step--make sure the entire book is as good as the query before you hit "Send" to an agent or editor. To enter the weekly query critique giveaway, simply follow the directions below. Good luck!

RULES:
Just leave a comment telling me you'd like to be entered in the giveaway and give your email address, using (at) and (com) as follows so the spam bots don't find you. 
I will use a random number generator to pick the winner who will receive a query critique through email. NOTE: If your query involves space monkeys, I might make an exception and do an extra critique!

7 Comments on Wednesday Query Critique Giveaway, last added: 6/21/2012
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50. Query Critique Winner

The Random Number Generator has spoken and the winner is #1..Randall Sexton! Congrats! I'll email instructions regarding your query critique. Thanks to everyone who entered, and check back soon for another chance to win! Also, please keep noting how many times you've entered because I've been doing extra critiques for persistent folks who have entered 5 or more times in a row. Good luck! :)

2 Comments on Query Critique Winner, last added: 6/21/2012
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