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1. WALL ART - patrick edgeley

Patrick Edgeley has produced a new series of art prints using his hand drawn retro illustrations. Patrick collects vintage packaging and his love of reto typography and pop culture inspires his work. Based in Brighton and Hove all Patrick prints are hand printed limited editions. His work has previously sold in Heals and he has designed for Joseph Joseph. As seen online here.

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2. A visit from Dianne Bates

When Counterfeit Love, my latest book for young adults, came out this year, I have to admit to suffering a little fatigue. I’d had eleven books published in four years, and was feeling like I’d just finished an ultra marathon. But when I look around at my fellow children’s authors, I realise I’m just ambling […]

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3. ONLINE STORE - kidsdinge

Talking of cards I found some really cute ones at online shop KidsDinge. This fun shop for children's goods has cards by Bora,and Darling Clementine as well as fun bit from Ellen Giggenbach for Djeco and lovely French label Mini Labo. KidsDinge is based in The Netherlands so it has a European feel that will appeal to lots of design conscious parents.

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4. Island-Hopping with a Sketchbook

Okay, I promise, I'll stop banging on about Brazil soon. But, the thing is, I haven't even mentioned the boat trip (what on earth is going on with my knees below..?):

It was Brenda's idea - she's the kind of person who gets things done. She organised us all, then pep-talked us into it again, when we saw the cloudy weather that morning and started to dither. Here she is, in the red, as we make our way to the pier and the little boat we hired. Well done Brenda!

Because it was a wonderful idea. Despite the lack of sunshine, it was still warm enough to sit up on the top of the boat and sketch together, as beautiful scenery glided by. 

The sea was peppered with pointy islands. It was incredibly restful. 

We anchored just a small way from a tropical island and the more gung-ho members of the party jumped off the boat. A few of us swum all the way to the island. Then our captain rowed the others across to join us. We saw blue butterflies the size of your hand and bright red crabs scuttling on the rocks. A spotty fish came to investigate my toes... Bliss.

The next island we visited had a little bar cum cafe - we didn't swim to this one, but were ferried in shifts in the dingy, so I was able to take a sketchbook. 

I had an odd but delicious sandwich, deep-fried (!), then sat next to my mate from New York, Mark Leibowitz, drawing the view with the boat, above.

The sandwich lady had two little dogs which sat doe-eyed beside each of us in turn (you can see Mark studiously ignoring their pleas). I think it was Brenda who turned out to be the soft-touch (I gobbled mine down - no sharing!). 

We started back shortly after that, because the weather was getting worse. Instead of idling along, we picked up the pace, so it started to get chilly. 

Undeterred we sketched on: 

We piled on what little clothes we had with us (which is why, once again, I donned my fetching bag-lady look):

I was sketching in two different books, both home-made. One from ages ago, my first foray into sketchbook binding, but also one of the concertina books I made not long ago. It was perfect for folding out so I could draw bigger (although I had to hang on to it tight, once the boat really got going):

We made it back to shore before it rained and, as soon as we were stationary, it wasn't even that cold.

We found time on our walk back to do a quick throw-down of the sketchbooks, to get a proper look at what everyone had done:

I hope you appreciate how brave I am being in putting up that photo - what DO I look like? The pink T-shirt was meant for swimming, in case the sun was out: even I wouldn't deliberately match pink and orange!

We had a lovely time and, just like in Rio, it was great to spend several hours with a small group of friends, sketching together, getting to know one-another better and sharing a special experience. Thanks again Brenda. Good one.

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5. CARDS ETC - jane farnham

These are the latest products in from Jane Farnham created for her Etsy shop, including new Christmas Cards, a Sewing Machine tote bag, tea towels and notebooks. Jane is surface pattern designer and maker based in Hertfordshire and she is also a designer for Camelot Fabrics.

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6. Best Selling Picture Books | October 2014

Herve Tullet is a picture book hero! His best selling picture book Press Here (Chronicle Books, 2011) has been joined on the best selling picture book list by his incredibly fun Mix it Up!

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7. Inheritance (The Evolution Chronicles Book 2) by RJ Palmer

It’s been twenty years since that fateful winter night in the Colorado asylum and the Donnelly twins are all grown up. Elizabeth is a bit of a bounder with a taste for adventure and Renee… Well, Renee just wants to be normal. Like that’s ever going to happen. When tragedy strikes the Donnelly family and everything goes haywire, Renee finds herself scrambling alone in a race against time to solve the riddle of a lifetime, fix what’s broken and figure out how it all went so horribly wrong to begin with.

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8. Hickory Daiquiri Dock: Tim Federle, Nursery Rhymes, and Some Light Apéritifs

TimFederle Hickory Daiquiri Dock: Tim Federle, Nursery Rhymes, and Some Light ApéritifsThere’s this fellow I know. Tim Federle is his name. You might know him from his rather extraordinary and charming middle grade books BETTER NATE THAN EVER and FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, NATE. Both books focus on a theater kid finding his way on Broadway. They are charming, effervescent, and irresistible, much like their author.

In my book WILD THINGS: ACTS OF MISCHIEF IN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE, my co-writers and I tackled the notion of children’s authors doing adult things, living adult lives and the reaction from the public on the matter. Very much what Tim’s doing here.  Then there’s the fact that years ago SLJ fielded complaints when they published a picture of me with some children’s literary bloggers in a bar.  Needless to say, when Tim suggested I do a post with him that talked a bit about his adult, but still children’s literature related, book HICKORY DAIQUIRI DOCK, I felt this was definitely a topic I wanted to visit.

Betsy: So you traipse between the world of writing children’s books and the world of drinks with children’s book names.  Do you find them intersecting in weird ways at all?

Tim: Not so much weird ways as unexpected ones. I was planning my tour for Five, Six, Seven, Nate! when the owner of Inkwood Books in Tampa suggested we do school visits in the daytime and a cocktail event for the parents at night. It was a big hit.

Betsy: Historically, whenever a children’s book author tries to do anything adult they get chastised mightily.  There’s this understanding that writers for kids can’t have adult lives.  With that in mind, have you gotten any pushback against TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD?

Tim: Knock on wood — so far, I’ve actually had lots of librarians quietly slink up to me in signing lines for my middle grade books and slide over their personal copy of TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD. I’m always happy to advise them to “read responsibly.” HICKORY DAIQUIRI DOCK is a board book featuring cocktails inspired by classic nursery rhymes, so I’m hoping the crossover audience expands even more. Provided they are at least 21, obvi.

Screen Shot 2014 10 01 at 10.29.25 PM Hickory Daiquiri Dock: Tim Federle, Nursery Rhymes, and Some Light ApéritifsBetsy: Is there a BETTER NATE THAN EVER inspired drink in there?  If not, could there be?

Tim: Ha! Maybe chocolate milk spiked with Red Bull, for a teenage boy needing focus and energy to perform on Broadway. (Note: do not try this at home. Or ever.)

Betsy: Where did you get the names of the drinks?  Are they all from you or do you have to credit some folks with a couple of them?

Tim: Most of the HICKORY DAIQUIRI DOCK drink recipe titles — from “Ring Around the Rosé” to “Bloody Mary, Quite Contrary” — came from a combo of my own little head and also crowd-sourcing on Twitter. I asked my friends and followers for suggestions and got a happy deluge. And I had a nifty cocktail consultant help make sure the drinks weren’t just funny but also delish.

Betsy: Do you have a favorite?

HickoryDaiquiri 300x300 Hickory Daiquiri Dock: Tim Federle, Nursery Rhymes, and Some Light ApéritifsTim: The book is beautifully illustrated (by the fabulous Eda Kaban) and my favorite is probably “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bar,” which features a new dad pressing his face against the glass of his formerly favorite bar.

Betsy: And will there be a follow-up?

Tim: I’m cooking up a TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD sequel, whereas HICKORY is more of a companion book. I’m in my mid-thirties, and so many people in my life are having babies — I wanted to create something cheeky and sweet to mark the occasion for my friends; I’m hoping HICKORY DAIQUIRI DOCK will be the premiere baby shower gift for generations to come icon smile Hickory Daiquiri Dock: Tim Federle, Nursery Rhymes, and Some Light Apéritifs Or a Holiday gift — it’s out this December.

Betsy: Thank you, Tim!

By the way, I’d be amiss in not mentioning that Tim’s first cocktail book got a mention on an obscure little television program by the name of Jeopardy.  As such . . .

Screen Shot 2014 10 01 at 10.52.04 PM 500x345 Hickory Daiquiri Dock: Tim Federle, Nursery Rhymes, and Some Light Apéritifs

Thanks for stopping by, Tim!

Tim Federle is the author of TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD: COCKTAILS WITH A LITERARY TWIST, which was named the 2013 Goodreads Cookbook of the Year and called “a joy” by the London Evening Standard. Tim’s forthcoming cocktail book, HICKORY DAIQUIRI DOCK: COCKTAILS WITH A NURSERY RHYME TWIST, has been declared “more fun at a baby shower than a Diaper Genie” by the Tampa Bay Times. Though Tim is not a parent himself (that he knows of), he is a very cool uncle. Say hi at TimFederle.com and connect on Twitter and Instagram @TimFederle.

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I receive so many questions about what to do when you do not get a reply to what you submitted. I think we all will be interested in this article written by Elizabeth Law about how to handle the situation.


Waiting for a reply can seem like watching the tumbleweeds roll...

Waiting for a reply can seem like watching the tumbleweeds roll…

#1.  Maybe an editor said something encouraging to you at a conference, and, as requested, you sent them your manuscript.  Since then it has been radio silence.  Here’s what you can do.  After 10-12 weeks, follow up with an email, reminding him or her, “we met at XXX, you said you’d like to take a look at my story about XXX, and because 10-12 weeks have passed, I wanted to follow up.  Here is my manuscript again, thank you very much for your time and consideration.”  That’s right, attach the manuscript, don’t have the editor go hunting for your email from 10 weeks ago. This way they can click and start reading.  If you haven’t heard back in another month, move on.

Mandy and Bernadette knew it in Sunday in the Park with George: you've got to Move On.

Mandy and Bernadette knew it in Sunday in the Park with George: you’ve got to Move On.

(In this case, move on means submit to the next person on your list, and don’t expect ever to hear back from the original publishing house. You don’t need to officially withdraw the manuscript.  If by some miracle the first editor later says he or she is interested in your book, and you haven’t yet sold it, then great.  But meanwhile you’ve taken your career into your own hands.)<img Mandy and Bernadette knew it in Sunday in the Park with George: you’ve got to Move On.”

Mandy and Bernadette knew it in Sunday in the Park with George: you’ve got to Move On.

#2.  Regrettably, in this era, silence is the new no.  Many literary agents have realized they don’t have the time to reply to every query they receive, so they’ve enacted a policy of “if you don’t hear from us in ___ weeks, assume we’ve passed.”

Here’s what to do when you’ve queried and agent and the allotted time to hear back has passed: MOVE ON.

Waiting for just the right literary agent or editor to say yes to you is like being in 7th grade and waiting for just the right boy, the one you know is perfect and you will spend the rest of your life with, to ask you out.  You are much, much better off moving on to the guy standing right next to him in the lunch line.

This is also a good rule for a publishing house accepting unsolicited manuscripts, and for editors or publishers who are accepting submissions for a certain period after a conference. If you don’t hear back from them after 12-16 weeks, assume it’s a no and move on.

#3.  You have signed with a literary agent, but they aren’t getting back to you.  Maybe they don’t return your calls, maybe they don’t answer your emails.  Everyone slips up now and again, of course, and that’s not what I’m talking about.  Have you left a few messages in a row for your agent, either by email or phone, and not gotten a reply? Has that happened several times? End the relationship.  The LAST thing you want is an agent who doesn’t return your calls or emailsThe publishing process is frustratingly slow and thorny and fraught with all sorts of issues.  Your agent is your champion; he or she goes into battle for you.  You do not want to be in that battle not knowing when your weaponry is going to show up.  Send an email and say you’re terminating the relationship. Do it now.

(And don’t be scared. Most agents are excellent.  But I get asked about this every few months, so I’m including it.)

#4.   An editor tells you he is taking your manuscript to an acquisitions meeting, then you don’t hear anything further. Follow up, by phone or email, remembering the rule, “always be polite and to the point.”  Say “You said you were bringing my book to the committee, has there been a response?” I know, I know, who wants to send that email and hasten the chance of hearing “I’m afraid the committee passed?”  But it’s better to hear “no” and move on. It’s also possible your editor needs to be prodded to get that book onto the meeting agenda.  You just don’t know.  You need to follow up.

Nota bene: ALWAYS be nice. Never lose your cool and yell at an editor, even by email, even when he deserves it.  First, you never know the full story—I got screamed at, really screamed at, once when it was my boss causing the delay, but what could I do but take the heat? And second, venting is what you have friends for.  The editor is disorganized, doesn’t value your time, has kept you hanging, repeatedly breaks her word about when she’s going to reply… all true.  Still, be professional, courteous, and polite. For one thing, when a writer is nice and understanding, we, the editors, only feel more guilty and determined to treat you well and to finally get you an answer.  Secondly, one day you may need that person you just reamed out.  He may be sitting in the audience at sales conference, and be able to tell a rep “Oh, I know that author, so talented.” Or you may end up sitting next to that editor on a panel at a conference, who knows? Don’t burn bridges.  Act professionally and then go out for drinks with your BFF and get it all off your chest.

manuscript#5:  Perhaps your book is under contract, but your editor isn’t getting back to you with editorial notes, or with anything else.  You want to revise, you have another book you need to work on, and you need to know what’s going on.  But although you’ve emailed the editor three times to ask about the book’s schedule, you hear nothing.  If you have an agent, easy, just tell the agent and he or she will deal with it.  (Unless the agent doesn’t return your calls, in which case, see #2).  But if you don’t have an agent, and you aren’t hearing back from your editor? Email their boss.  Yup.  Email the publisher, remembering to be professional and concise, saying “I haven’t had an answer to my questions about the book’s schedule and I’m getting worried that my revision might conflict with another project; of course I understand how busy my editor is, but I wonder if you have information for me?”  The publisher then forwards it to the editor who deals with it immediately.

Ok, everyone hates that answer, but it really works.

Click to read Elizabeth’s Bonus Tip and the rest of the article.

Elizabeth Law is available for consultation on your manuscript and career and for social networking tutorials, among other services. See her website, ELawReads.com, for more information.

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: Advice, article, Editors, need to know, reference, submissions, Tips Tagged: 5 Ways to Follow Up With An Editor or Agent, Elizabeth Law

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10. 파주 북소리 !

       It's time -- from tomorrow through 12 October -- for 파주 북소리 -- Paju Booksori, the big book festival at South Korea's famous 'book city'.
       In the Korea JoongAng Ilbo Kim Hyung-Eun has an overview of what's going on, in Literature comes alive in Paju Book City.

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For this Halloween season......a new edition of the timeless collection that introduced Ichabod Crane, the Headless Horseman, and Rip Van Winkle.

This new collection of larger-than-life tales contains Washington Irving’s best-known literary inventions—Ichabod Crane, the Headless Horseman, and Rip Van Winkle—that continue to capture our imaginations today, and features an introduction and notes by Elizabeth L. Bradley, author of Knickerbocker: The Myth Behind New York and literary consultant to Historic Hudson Valley, the caretakers of Irving’s Tarrytown, New York home.

Not only is this collection a riveting must-read for the fall 2014 season, it also is an excellent companion to Fox’s hit television series Sleepy Hollow. 

The series is a modern-day adaption of Irving’s classic short story with a supernatural twist, and premiered in September 2013. Sleepy Hollow ended its first season with enormous success and the second season debuts on September 22, 2014.

You can be the lucky winner of a copy of Washington Irving’s, THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW AND OTHER STORIES, out September 30, in time for Halloween.  

Complete this form to enter

USA and CANADA Entries Only Please


About the Authors:

Washington Irving (1783–1859) is generally credited with being the father of the American short story and was the first American writer to achieve international renown.

He debuted in 1802 with a series of observational letters to the Morning Chronicle, and is best known for his short stories Rip Van Winkle (1819) and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. He has written several historical works covering figures such as George Washington and Christopher Columbus.


Elizabeth L. Bradley, the author of Knickerbocker: The Myth Behind New York, serves as literary consultant to Historic Hudson Valley, the caretakers of Sunnyside—Irving’s Tarrytown, New York, home. She also wrote the introduction and notes for the Penguin Classics edition of Irving’s A History of New York.


Brooklyn, NY 

Headless Horseman Variety Show October 16 
The Morbid Anatomy Museum - 8pm

New York, NY 

Reading of the Legend, featuring Lev Grossman, October 29
Megan Abbott, Randy Cohen and Tonya Hurley - 7pm

“It is an early American horror story...And that’s why people know it.
Because it’s got the kind of symbolism that good fairy tales or horror stories have.”

—Tim Burton


Introduction and Notes by Elizabeth L. Bradley

Penguin Classics - $11.00 

On-sale: October 7, 2014  


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12. Circle, Square, Moose, Bingham, Zelinsky.







This morning over at Kirkus, I chat with author Kelly Bingham and illustrator Paul O. Zelinsky at the release of Circle, Square, Moose, the sequel to 2012′s Z Is for Moose. Kelly and Paul are pictured here. So is Moose. But of course.

That Q&A will be here soon.

Next week here at 7-Imp, I’ll have a bit of art from the book, as well as some Zelinsky sketches.

* * * * * * *

Author photo of Kelly is by Marty Bingham and used with permission. Photo of Paul O. Zelinsky also used with permission.

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13. Interview with Travel Writer – Savannah Grace

It’s back! Author Interview Thursday is back. And my special guest to open this season is Savannah Grace who was on the hot seat back in August 2013.Savannah Grace - Travel Author Savannah is a travel writer and has visited close to (if not more than) a hundred countries. Her first book ‘Sihpromatum – How I Grew my Boobs in China‘ has more than 250 glowing reviews on Amazon and has featured on several bestseller categories. Her latest book ‘Siphromatum – Backpacks and Bra Straps‘ was released a few days ago. I was privileged to have an Advanced Review Copy and have begun reading it. Like her first book, it’s filled with exotic locations and adventures from various countries. Savannah was so kind to stop by today and answer a few questions of mine. So without further ado, let’s get right to it.


In what country did you find the friendliest people?

I find all of the “est” questions the most difficult. The people in Mongolia really stand out as some of the friendliest people on earth. Despite having so little, they have the biggest heart and happily share everything they can, or more, with others. While I was in Mongolia, I learned that, “There is no word for stranger. Only friends that haven’t met.”


What was the most useful item you bought while travelling?

Replacing my journals when they were full. I can’t think of anything more useful than paper and a pen. Recollection through the written word, is the most insightful and educational.


How does Backpacks and Bra Straps differ from How I Grew My Boobs in China - Your first book?Backpacks and Bra Straps

With some experience under our belts, and a real, mutual passion for travel, in “Backpacks and Bra Straps” our travels become more intense and daring than in “I Grew My Boobs in China”. In the first book I focused on the departure and drastic change of leaving our normal lives and how I grew both physically and mentally. Now, there is less whining from me, and I go into more depth on each of the other characters. We venture into more remote lands and see one of the most life changing sights; The sunrising over Mt. Everest. All the while, I stay true to the Sihpromatum series which means “A blessing that initially appears to be a curse”.


What is your top travel tip?

Don’t take things personally and be willing to embrace change and different mentalities, morals and cultures. Travel is a chance to wear someone else’s shoes, and remember that you are in their country.


Where have you made more connections: Facebook or Twitter?

I have had Facebook much longer than Twitter and have many close friends there, but Twitter is a much broader network, and I have undoubtedly made more connections through Twitter. When I form a strong bond on Twitter I will most often invite them over to FaceBook.


What part of this book made you very emotional as you recollected what you went through?

Oh, this is a great question. Putting myself back on those many trains and buses, and reliving the emotions I felt as a teenager in such remote lands was sometimes an emotional ride. Homesickness, while looking up at the stars. Or the unforgettable trek through the Himalayas to see Mount Everest.


Camels or donkeys?Mauritania

Haha, camels. They are much more exotic. They both make annoying noises, but camels sound like they come from another planet.


What was the last film you saw?

No joke, “Gone with the Wind”. What a coincidence!!! An absolutely fantastic movie and even better book. Highly, highly recommended.


Tell us of a funny experience you had in this book?

An unexpected funny moment was when my lovestruck brother proposed to a Russian/Kazakh girl he’d met less than 24 hours earlier on a bus.


What can we expect next from Savannah Grace next?suriname jungles

There’s so much more coming. I have so many stories still left to tell. The next instalment “Rusty Tracks and Booby Traps” will cover our steps through The Maldives, Sri Lanka and vibrant, never sleeping India. Staying with a probable drug lord and his 3 wives and 18 children in Afghanistan, an extensive overland journey circumnavigating Africa and submerging myself back into “normal life” and my first romance, are only a few examples of what’s left to come in the Sihpromatum series.

In current time, I am planning to go on a 4-6 month backpacking trip through South East Asia that I will be documenting in depth.


Fantastic! Thanks for sharing with us today Savannah. Please click the link below to get your own copy (as an ebook or paperback) and discover something new about our world through Savannah’s tales.

Grab a copy of Siphromatum – Backpacks and Bra Straps

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14. Betrayal review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of a new translation of the second of Giorgio Scerbanenco's Duca Lamberti-quartet, published as Betrayal by Hersilia Press last year, and now available in the US from Melville House as Traitors to All (closer to the original Traditori di tutti ...).
       The title confusion can't have helped the book -- which was previously translated as Duca and the Milan Murders (1970) -- as, for example, the (US) Publishers Weekly review relies on the Hersilia edition and uses their title (which probably confuses booksellers and librarians who rely on PW ...).
       Too bad -- it's even better than the first in the series; indeed, it's exemplary, in some ways, and you can understand why the Italians named their big mystery-prize after Scerbanenco.

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15. 17th Free “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest: Women’s/Upmarket Fiction

Welcome to the 17th (free!) “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest on the GLA blog. This is a recurring online contest with agent judges and super-cool prizes. Here’s the deal: With every contest, the details are essentially the same, but the niche itself changes—meaning each contest is focused around a specific category or two. So if you’re writing women’s fiction, this 17th contest is for you! (The contest is live through EOD, Friday, Oct. 17, 2014.)




After a previous “Dear Lucky Agent” contest, the agent judge, Tamar Rydzinski (The Laura Dail Literary Agency), signed one of the three contest winners. After Tamar signed the writer, she went on to sell two of that writer’s books! How cool! That’s why these contests are not to missed if you have an eligible submission.


E-mail entries to dearluckyagent17@gmail.com. Please paste everything. No attachments.


Your query letter, as well as the first 150-200 words of your unpublished, completed book-length work of adult women’s fiction. You must include a contact e-mail address with your entry and use your real name. Also, submit the title of the work and a logline (one-sentence description of the work) with each entry.

Please note: To be eligible to submit, you must mention this contest twice through any any social-media. Please provide a social-media link or Twitter handle or screenshot or blog post URL, etc., with your official e-mailed entry so the judge and I can verify eligibility. Some previous entrants could not be considered because they skipped this step! Simply spread the word twice through any means and give us a way to verify you did; a tinyURL for this link/contest for you to easily use is http://tinyurl.com/of5zgqz. An easy way to notify me of your sharing is to include my Twitter handle @chucksambuchino at the end of your mention(s) if using Twitter. If we’re friends on FB, tag me in the mention. And if you are going to solely use Twitter as your 2 times, please wait 1 day between mentions to spread out the notices, rather than simply tweeting twice back to back. Thanks. (Please note that simply tweeting me does not count. You have to include the contest URL with your mention; that’s the point. And if you use Twitter, put my handle @chucksambuchino at the middle or the end, not at the very beginning of the tweet.)

Here is a sample tweet you can use (feel free to tweak): New FREE contest for writers of women’s fiction http://tinyurl.com/of5zgqz Judged by agent @PaulaSMunier - via @chucksambuchino


Women’s fiction (also called upmarket fiction when dealing with women’s stories). If you’re wondering what falls into this genre specifically, this is how our agent judge explains it: “These are stories that revolve around women, women’s roles as mothers, daughters, grandmothers, granddaughters, caregivers, friends, community leaders, etc., and a woman’s place at home, at work, and in society at large. They are for the most part domestic dramas. What separates them from love stories is that the heroine’s relationships with her friends and family are as important if not more important to the storyline as her love relationship. These stories explore women’s relationships—with each other, with men and children, with the world, and with herself. The themes are those that strike a chord with women: love, family, friendship, sisterhood, motherhood, self-actualization, and what it means to be a woman in the world, past, present, and future.”


  1. This contest will be live through the end of Oct. 17, 2014, PST. Winners notified by e-mail within approximately three weeks of end of contest. Winners announced on the blog thereafter.
  2. To enter, submit the first 150-200 words of your book as well as your one-page query. Shorter or longer entries will not be considered. Keep it within word count range please.
  3. You can submit as many times as you wish. You can submit even if you submitted to other contests in the past, but please note that past winners cannot win again. All that said, you are urged to only submit your best work.
  4. The contest is open to everyone of all ages, save those employees, officers and directors of GLA’s publisher, F+W Media, Inc.
  5. By e-mailing your entry, you are submitting an entry for consideration in this contest and thereby agreeing to the terms written here as well as any terms possibly added by me in the “Comments” section of this blog post. (If you have questions or concerns, write me personally at chuck.sambuchino (at) fwmedia.com. The Gmail account above is for submissions, not questions.)


Top 3 winners all get: 1) A critique of the first 10 double-spaced pages of your work, by your agent judge. 2) A free one-year subscription to WritersMarket.com ($50 value)!


Screen shot 2014-10-02 at 12.37.35 AMScreen shot 2014-10-02 at 12.39.18 AMPaula Munier, Senior Literary Agent & Content Strategist at Talcott Notch Literary, has created and marketed exceptional content in all formats across all markets for such media giants as WGBH, Fidelity, and Disney. A writer and editor before becoming an agent in 2012, she’s always looking for good crime fiction, women’s fiction, mainstream fiction, high-concept YA and SF/Fantasy fiction, as well as nonfiction. She’s written several books, including Plot Perfect: How to Build Unforgettable Stories Scene by Scene and Fixing Freddie.



THE REGISTRY TRILOGY (William Morrow/HarperCollins)
By Shannon Stoker
The Registry, The Collection, and The Alliance
The exciting trilogy set in a United States in which girls are breeders and the prettiest girls go to the highest bidders – and  telling the story of the one beautiful young woman who refuses to play by those rules.

ORPHAN # 8 (William Morrow/HarperCollins)
By Kim van Alkemade
Coming in 2015
An orphan, subjected to experimental X-ray treatments at the orphanage, escapes to make a new life for herself, only to face her tormentor years later, inspired by the real-life Hebrew Orphan Asylum of Manhattan.

By Kate Defrise
Coming in 2015
Armed with nothing but insecurities, rivalries, and their mother’s recipe for Belgian chocolate mousse, siblings make their way from around the world to the family estate in Pennsylvania — where their father, the memory of their mother, and long-held family secrets all collide on Christmas Eve.

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BEELINE TO MURDER: A Henny Penny Farmette Mystery (Kensington)
By Meera Lester
Coming in 2015
Inspired by the author’s real-life Henny Penny Farmette homestead and blog, the first in a new series featuring a former San Francisco Bay Area police detective, who leaves the force and retreats to the country only to find herself caught in a black swarm of blackmail and betrayal — a veritable beeline to murder.

SNIPER (Skyhorse)
By Vaughn Hardacker
A Boston homicide detective’s investigation of a sniper attack on Boston Common draws the former Marine sniper into a cat-and-mouse game with the killer that takes him from the streets of Boston to a remote island off the coast of Maine for a final deadly showdown.

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16. Prize: Berliner Literaturpreis

       Another day, another German author prize announcement (several, actually, but this seems like the most noteworthy one): they've announced that Olga Martynova will get next year's Berliner Literaturpreis (confusingly also known as the Berliner Preis für deutschsprachige Literatur), picking up the €30,000 prize on 18 February 2015 (yes, they do plan ahead, don't they ?).
       Martynova won the 2012 Ingeborg-Bachmann-Preis, and I'm kind of surprised she hasn't been picked up in English yet -- Mörikes Schlüsselbein, in particular, sounds like a title of particular interest; see information about that and her other books at the Droschl foreign rights page.
       Meanwhile, she's in pretty good company with the Berliner Literaturpreis: winners include Herta Müller (2005), Durs Grünbein (2006), and Ilija Trojanow (2007).

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17. Books to Movies Giveaway Hop

Thanks to BookHounds and I am a Reader for hosting the Books to Movies Giveaway Hop! This hop features books that have been made into movies or TV shows.

Some blogs will be giving away the book, some the movie & others both! I'm posting a little early, so if you're reading this before October 2 you may have to wait a while for all the blogs to post their contests.

We are giving away $25 worth of The Maze Runner goodness! The winner can pick book(s) and/or a movie gift certificate, as long as the total doesn't go over $25. For example, the winner can pick the paperback boxed set ($24.11 on Amazon) or The Maze Runner eBook for $5.99 + $19 on a Fandango or Arclight gift card (or whatever his or her local movie place is) to go watch the movie.

I actually didn't particularly like the book (only read the first one) BUT I did think it would make a great, fun movie, and I was right! Now that I've seen the film, I definitely want to take the time to read or listen to the rest of the series. I hope you enjoy the movie as much as I did.

Check out the cast Q&A with awesome photos by our friend Katie Ferguson.

Use the Rafflecopter widget to enter and then head on to the other blogs on the hop for more chances to win.

Giveaway Rules:

  1. Open to US residents only. Ends 10/10/2014.
  2. We are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items. 
  3. One set of entries per household please. 
  4. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address. 
  5. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends. 
  6. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner. 
  7. If you have any questions, feel free to email us. You can review our full contest policy here
  8. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find. Thanks!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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18. The last 100 reviews

       So having reached (and now passed) 3400 reviews at the complete review it's time to look at the numbers re. the past 100 reviews (3301-3400):

        - the 100 reviews were posted in 181 days (previous hundred: 187 days), and totaled 92,723 words (the highest average to date; previous hundred: 89,132 words). 28 reviews were over 1000 words, 4 were under 500 words in length. The longest review was 3610 words.

        - the 100 reviewed books had a total of 24,995 pages (a statistic I've just started tracking this year). The longest had 1003 pages, but only five were longer than 500 pages (with eight more between 400-499 pages); eight were shorter than 100 pages.

        - reviews were of books originally written in 27 different languages (previous hundred: 22) -- the best-represented languages being English (22), followed by French (18). One new language was added (Romansh, barely), bringing the total number of languages represented at the complete review to 64.
       Amazingly, at least one title in each of the 15 most popular langauges (of books already under review) was reviewed.
       See also the language list for a full breakdown of all languages.

        - reviewed books were by authors from 37 countries (previous hundred: 36), led by France (13), the UK (10), Japan and the US (8 each).

        - 81 reviewed titles were novels (previous hundred: 89), and there were six story-collections; there were two volumes each of poetry and diaries, and six volumes of (various) non-fiction

        - One title received a grade of A; 10: A-; 31: B+; 50 B

        - 17 reviewed titles were first published in 2014; 50 between 2010-2014; 21 between 2000-2009; 5 in the 1990s; 3 in the 1980s; 5 in the 1970s; 8 in the 1960s. Three were published before 1900.

        - 22.5 of the reviewed books were written by women -- a ridiculously low percentage but (by quite a margin -- over 10 per cent) the highest total ever recorded at the site for a 100-book block of reviews, upping the percentage of female-authored titles at the site from 15.08 per cent to a record 15.29 per cent; see also the full breakdown here.

       Good to see that there were (slightly ...) more female authors, as well as the usual spread of languages (though it's a bit disappointing that the dominant languages were again dominant -- the fifteen most popular languages each were represented by at least one title). I'm not sure about the trend towards lengthier reviews -- at what point do they get too long ?
       And worth keeping an eye on: it'll probably be another 150 reviews of so, but at some point in the foreseeable future the percentage of all titles under review originally written in English will drop below 40 per cent. (Recall that of the first 1000 reviews, 681 were of books written in English, and even after 2000 reviews these still constituted 53.30 per cent of all titles.)

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19. Apoptosis


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20. Prize: Goldsmiths Prize shortlist

       They've announced the six-title shortlist for this year's Goldsmiths Prize -- a £10,000-prize: "awarded to a book that is deemed genuinely novel and which embodies the spirit of invention that characterises the genre at its best".
       A pretty interesting-looking mix -- and one of the titles is actually already under review at the complete review (In the Light of What We Know, by Zia Haider Rahman), with another soon to follow (How to be both, by Ali Smith).
       The shortlist was selected from 119 entered novels -- a list they sadly/disappointingly/inexplicably apparently have not made public.
       And see also Leo Robson on All must have prizes ! How the Goldsmiths and Folio awards are changing the literary landscape in the New Statesman.

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21. ReaderKidz Interview about STAR STUFF: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos

This Friday Stephanie Greene- the wonderful author of the Princess Posey books  : ) will post an interview on the process of making the book. Here is their announcement about it. 

Here I am with Tristam when we were still remodeling our house taken  about 7 years ago. We would walk to the house in the evenings (we lived in a nearby apartment) and pull out the telescope my parents bought for me years before and search for things in the sky that are very far away and some very long ago. I don't think he really understood, but he memories are pretty great of that time. 

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22. September Mosaic

The first fourteen pictures this month are from the Casting for Recovery retreat. That will explain all of those splashes of pink. We had perfect weather and a fabulous group of ladies.

15-17 are my Equinox Amazement photos. The day after the equinox, the sun shone right down the middle of our East/West street. The next day, the sun was noticeably further south because its light was further north. The third day, you can barely see the light going down the sidewalk across the street. We are tracking how far the sun is shining in our south-facing window at school each afternoon when we gather for read aloud (where the sun-patch is on the floor before I lower the blinds).

#18 -- Bono Pizza. Locals, if you've never experienced Bono Pizza, you owe it to yourself and your tastebuds to give it a try. Click over to their website and look at the pictures. I promise you'll drool!

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23. Chicanonautica: Our Hijo de la Chingada Conquistador Heritage

by Ernest Hogan

Seems I can’t do anything without it causing controversy. Though the overwhelming reaction to the cover of Digital Parchment’s new edition of Cortez on Jupiter had been positive, there has been some objection to Pablo Cortez being depicted as a futuristic conquistador.

I understand people’s reaction to the symbolism. The conquistador in his helmet is seen as a villain while the “pioneer” (originally from the French for “foot soldier” as in “peon”) in his coonskin cap is idolized a hero. But as my great-grandfather Hogan said about the Wild West, who the good guys and bad guys are depends on who’s in charge at the time.

I like the cover. It's similar to an idea I had when the first edition was in the planning stages. The conquistador I envisioned was more of an H.R. Giger monster, but this new one is more commercial -- doing the important job of catching the eye of cybershoppers and getting them to read the synopsis.

A good book cover makes people think, “What the hell?”

Also, in way, Pablo Cortez is a conquistador. He conquers, not Jupiter, but the society he lives in.

Like it or not, as Hispanics/Latinos/Chicanos/Nican Tlaca we carry conquistador DNA. Otherwise we’d be Indians. It’s our whole hijo de la chingada thing, or as my grandmother once so delicately put it:

“The soldiers would come into the villages, and take the girls away on their horses  . . . and then they would be their wives!

We live in a world they made -- especially here in Aztlán, where we walk in their footsteps, and the extermination of the natives was not complete, the difference between Nueva Hispana and New England. 

As I wander like Don Quixote seeking adventures or like the Aztecs searching for the place to build their metropolis, I often feel like a doomed warrior on an absurd mission in an alien land. Though I do identify more with Cabeza de Vaca and Estevanico than Cortés, Pizarro or Aguirre.

Hmm . . . Was Columbus a conquistador? He was working for the same bosses.

It’s given me ideas that I may never get around to writing:

What if space explorers acted like conquistadors rather than idealistic bureaucrats?

What about a badass mestizo gunslinger who wears a conquistador helmet?

Or an Aztec anti-conquistador, going to Europe to deconstruct their culture?

Ernest Hogan’s Cortez on Jupiter is available for pre-order for a new Kindle edition with new cover and introduction. There will be a softcover edition, too. Stay tuned for details as they develop.

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24. In the Limelight with Fantasy Author: Carol Browne...

I want to thank and welcome fantastic fantasy author, Carol Browne for sharing her personal writing journey with us on my blog today. Carol’s book The Exile of Elidel is the first book of a trilogy and can be purchased from Musa Publishing, Amazon, and other on-line bookstores. Bonus: Stay tuned for a chance to win an ecopy of The Exile of Elidel at the end of this post. So let’s get this interview started…

How long have you been writing, Carol?

I started scribbling when I was about seven years old. From that point on I always wanted to be a ‘proper’ writer. It was a very long time before I achieved that goal – we’re talking nearly five decades!

I feel you, Carol. It sounds like we’ve been on the same path. Where did you get your idea and inspiration to write The Exile of Elindel?

In 1976, I was listening to a jukebox in an English pub when Mike Oldfield’s In Dulci Jubilo came on. The music conjured up an image in my mind of two fantasy characters who seemed to be nearing the end of some kind of quest. I felt compelled to write their story and find out who they were and what was going to happen to them. I set them in Dark Age Britainbecause Anglo-Saxon had been part of the English degree I had just completed at University and the era appealed to me. I felt I was going with these characters on their adventure, watching as they collected back stories and companions along the way.

What sets The Exile of Elindel apart from other books/series in the same genre?

I have to confess to not being a great reader of the sword-and-sorcery type of fantasy genre, so there’s little I can compare mine with. I like to think my elves are a bit different, though. They’re vegetarians and they talk to animals and have tremendous reverence for nature. They would definitely join the Green party if they were around today!

I also like to add humour to lighten the mood. Too much angst and jeopardy can get very tedious. I mixed up the genres a little too. In Book II there is an element of sci-fi as well as fantasy, while in Book III there’s a good dollop of horror. I’ve added some light romance as well; so something for everyone!

You’ve certainly thought of everyone, Carol! As a fantasy author, what is your writing process?

I write my first draft in longhand and have all my notes and research Blu-tacked to the walls of the room where I work. Once I commit myself to writing something, it is with me all the time so I take a pen and paper out with me in case I get any fresh ideas. I have a housekeeping job and frequently have to stop to jot something down. I hate it when characters start talking to each other in my head. I have to say ‘Shut up! I can’t write all that down now.” It’s infuriating that I can’t set aside regular time slots for writing. I guess I’ll have to hang on till I retire.

Seems like you’re always prepared when your characters come a-calling! How long did it take for you to start and finish The Exile of Elindel?

That’s a difficult question! I can’t remember that far back. (Those files have been deleted!) I do remember the first draft being ENORMOUS. It rambled on forever; more padding than a king-size duvet. I wrote it in the summer of 1977 and spent the next thirty-odd years lugging it around in suitcases, storing it in attics, taking it out to rewrite it and submit to publishers, putting it back in the attic.

Thirty years? Now that’s dedication! Do you have any advice for other writers striving to write in your genre, Carol?

Use your own original voice and ideas. Don’t try to be the next Tolkein.

Brilliant advice! Everyone is unique in their own way. So, what’s next for Carol Browne the author?

The rest of the trilogy will be out next year: Book II, Gateway to Elvendom, in March and Book III, Wyrd’s End, in December – as long as everything goes smoothly with the editing process. Meanwhile, I’m nearing the end of my work in progress, a paranormal thriller. I recently wrote myself into a corner with this one and so lost a few days while I worked things out. I have discovered over the years that if you are stuck with a plot or character, there’s always a solution, but it might have to simmer away in the old brain pan for a while before it bobs to the surface.

It sounds like you’ve got your work cut out for you! Okay, here’s one for me, since I’m writing a time travel series—If you could time travel anywhere into Earth’s past, where would you go and why?

If I could go back to the Battle of Hastings in 1066, and somehow make sure the Saxons won instead of the Normans, I would. But let’s be realistic! I have always admired Horatio, Lord Nelson, and I love those old ships of the line. (I stood on board HMS Victory myself during a visit to the Naval Dockyards in Portsmouth a few years ago, and it is a day I will never forget). If I could, I’d like to go back to the time of the Napoleonic Wars and meet Nelson. I’d love to know if he was as charismatic as everyone said he was.

Thank you very much for having me on your blog, Sharon. I did enjoy the experience!

Elgiva, a young elf banished from Elvendom, must seek shelter among the Saxons as her only hope of surviving the coming winter.
Godwin, a Briton enslaved by the Saxons, is a man ignorant of his own inheritance and the secret of power he possesses.
A mysterious enemy, who will stop at nothing to wield absolute power over Elvendom, is about to make his move.
When destiny throws Elgiva and Godwin together, they embark upon the quest for the legendary Lorestone, the only thing that can save Elvendom from the evil that threatens to destroy it.
There is help to be found along the way from a petulant pony and a timid elf boy but, as the strength of their adversary grows, can Elgiva’s friends help her to find the Lorestone before it falls into the wrong hands?


Carol Browne first appeared on the planet in 1954. She regards Crewe, Cheshire, as her home town and graduated from Nottingham University in 1976 with an honours degree in English Language and Literature. Now living in the Cambridgeshire countryside with her dog, Harry, and cockatiel, Sparky, when she’s not writing fiction, Carol spends her time as a housekeeper, proofreader, and ghost writer in order to pay the bills. Pagan and vegan, Carol believes it is time for a paradigm shift in our attitude to Mother Nature and hopes the days of speciesism are numbered.


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolBrowne
Twitter: https://twitter.com/@CarolABrowne

ENTER TO WIN: Carol has her magical elfin hat cleaned out and rearing to go. All you have to do is leave a comment along with your contact information, and Carol with add your name into the hat for a chance to win an ecopy of The Exile of Elindel. You have until midnight EST Monday, October 6th2014 to submit your comment, and then POOF— the magical elfin hat picks the winner! Good luck, everyone!

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25. FAMOUS LAST WORDS by Katie Alender {Review}

Review by Valerie FAMOUS LAST WORDSby Katie AlenderAge Range: 12 and up Grade Level: 7 and upHardcover: 320 pagesPublisher: Point (September 30, 2014)Goodreads | Amazon Willa is freaking out. It seems like she's seeing things. Like a dead body in her swimming pool. Frantic messages on her walls. A reflection that is not her own. It's almost as if someone -- or something -- is trying to send

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