Friday, May 31, 2013

Forging Fridays - Knowing Your Audience

*****First - some cool things!*****

~ On Monday, I'll announce the winner of the NookHD! I'll also be able to share some epically exciting news I've been sitting on for a bit. AND I'll be starting the Insomnia Release Blog Tour in which we'll be giving away 10 Signed Copies of Insomnia and 10 10-pg Critiques! :) Make sure you stop by! ~

*****Back to your regularly scheduled post*****


Today is our nineteenth (and final...for now at least) Forging Fridays query! Wow...that's just awesomely crazy. Can't believe how fast this year has flown by. Thank you so much to all the volunteers! You guys are amazing and I've gotten emails/tweets/comments every week saying how much this series is helping people.

So you volunteers rock. We love you. :)

As stated before, I will not be revealing any names of the Forging Fridays volunteers unless otherwise requested. If you feel like unmasking yourselves in the comments, be my guest, but I won't mention anyone by name. Without further ado:

Here is our last volunteer! *applause* *cheers* *confetti*

~~~~~


Dear [awesome agent]

Milo is a weapon.

His brain is crammed with blood-smeared visions of Jxxx, a jungle world where nightmares are reality and survival is a game of chance How so? This is pretty vague. We want specifics about the world at this point. On top of his visions of the past and future The past and future of our world? of Jxxx? Is this a new ability or clarification of the same one? Make sure the info you give us is clear., Milo has the sole ability to read the coded Jxxx book, filled with answers to world domination Our world or Jxxx?, why the mud has a heartbeat, and how to murder the invincible natives.

And the kid is only eight years old. No pressure. Interesting...this seems dark for middle grade...or at 8 it would be...a chapter book? 

Forced to translate the code, Milo figures out he’s one of the natives and he’s set their execution date. If he set it, why does he not know this already? Any hints as to why he has been selected for all these special powers? A collision with native teen assassin, Mikael, ends in a shaky alliance and an agreement to guide Milo to the elusive natives to warn them of the oncoming massacre. But the visions turn up a notch as Milo realizes a violent power plays with his mind. Forget being a weapon, he’s a puppet. Okay, now these twists are becoming overwhelming. I'd focus on the main bad guy, if it's the puppeteer then I'd streamline the rest of it into something that flows to the main point better. Maybe like, "After discovering in the code that the natives are scheduled for execution, Milo strikes a shaky alliance with one of their own, Mikael, to warn them. Harder than it seems when the natives want to kill him and Mikael is a trained assassin. On the way, the visions turn up a notch...etc. Obviously, add voice and make it your own, but just try to streamline to get to the point a bit smoother.

As their journey turns into a bloodbath, Milo sees there’s no “good side” in this racial war – and the monster inside him is about to explode. What kind of monster? What races? Did you mention races before? This tidbit should probably be left out. You need to tell us more details about this monster if you want him to be the big threat at the end? We need to understand a bit more what he's up against.

BLOOD is an 85,000 word high fantasy novel for young adults, with potential for a series. I believe it will appeal to readers who enjoy dark fantasy adventure like FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK in the style of THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS. 

Thank you for your time and consideration!

Okay...I'm very concerned about your genre choice and the age of your protagonist here. People especially older teens and adults, are very sensitive to children in violent and horrific circumstances. Also, in a YA, your protagonist is "usually" a teen. I know it's not always true, but it usually is. Could you make Milo older? If you want him to be the same age, you may have to play down the violence and darker issues in this book a bit. Another way to go is: Is Mikael a teen? Should he be the protagonist as protector of Milo? This sounds like a cool idea, and I'm all about the dark and creepy, but you have to make sure your target audience will be able to relate to the book and that the book has a place it will fit in the market. :)

Good luck!

~~~~~


Okay, that's it for today and this query. Thank you so much for volunteering, oh mystery writer! :) I really hope this helped you. It takes guts to send in a query, to me or an agent. Go you! You have awesome guts! :)

So, what do you guys think? Agree or disagree with my assessments? Discuss! May we all be tougher and stronger thanks to our days in the fire.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Kidlit Authors for Oklahoma Disaster Relief

We over at The Lucky 13's blog wanted to do something to help with the relief efforts for those who are suffering after the Oklahoma tornado. Everyone chipped in and we have six massive prize bundles we've put together to help out.

You get one entry for each $10 donation to the Red Cross.

Here is a picture of the prize pack featuring a signed copy of Insomnia. And there are SO many more prizes available (50+ signed books & critiques from some of our fantastic authors!).

You can find more information and enter to win over on The Lucky 13's blog.

Because helping out...it's so very awesome.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Less Than Two Weeks To Release and Giveaways

Guys...it is less than two weeks until my official release...

LESS THAN TWO FREAKING WEEKS!!


Yep...that's how I feel, too.

My hair actually looks a lot like that these days, too...

As I'm also currently drafting like the wind...or at the very least like a soft breeze...I also often look like this:


So yeah...madness and writing and excitement and more of all of the above.

What about you? What have you been up to? :)

Don't forget! 

This is the last week to enter the Goodreads Giveaway of 10 signed copies of Insomnia!

AND the last week to enter to win a NookHD!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Forging Fridays - Which Secrets are Good Ones


Today is our eighteenth Forging Fridays Query! Wow...eighteen, this year is flying by. Yay! We love volunteers! As stated before, I won't be revealing the identities of the volunteers for Forging Fridays unless otherwise requested. If you feel like unmasking yourselves in the comments, be my guest. But, I won't mention anyone by name.



Here is our next volunteer! *applause* *cheers* *confetti*

~~~~

Avia's twelfth birthday promises to be a bleak one when she wakes up, yet again, without wings.This first line is very cute and pulls us right into the world, the character and her problem. Good job! Years have passed since every other fairy her age has been expertly flitting around the forest on beautiful wings while she looks up from below. With a supportive family backing her up, she finds ways to get around her world and explore unconventional talents this happens very early on in the book from what I'm seeing here, there's no need to keep this a secret from an agent/editor. In spite of the career-bully Veek and his posse, Avia is beginning to thrive and find her place in the world. Everything after the first line loses a touch of voice. It's still good, but maybe find a way to make it sound a tad bit more engrossing on the voice side of things.

When her best friend Ro goes missing, she uncovers a plot to enslave the fairies a plot by...? and she must figure out a way to save him. For the first time in her life, the way she does things is the best way. Is flying suddenly dangerous? No need to be vague here, let us know why. She ends up in a dark mountain with all kinds of nefarious creatures this is a fun world-building aspect, give us a couple of examples of the types of creatures to pull us in further and she's able to defy detection because they have underestimated her unique abilities. Not only is she able to resuce (rescue) Ro and the other fairies trapped inside the mountain, but she also defeats the evil queen and her nephew Veek when the queen loses her own wings and is forced into a fair fight. This should be the end (I'll explain why below) and so needs to pack much more of a punch. We also don't need to know here that she does these things. THIS is the only time I'd recommend keeping a secret or not being specific in a query. You want to tell the main conflict, her goal, what she has to do to accomplish it and what's at stake (what she'll lose if she fails). I would not recommend revealing that she wins or how she does it though. This is the one aspect that really should be kept a secret.

Avia thrives and comes up with creative ways to move around in a world that was not built for her. She is strong and determined even when the odds are most decidedly against her. Every kid needs a friend like Ro that accepts you for who you are. Different does not mean broken. No matter what your difference is, you can be the best You there is! This last section really makes the story sound like an after-school special. You don't need this. Instead of telling us these things about the story, find small creative ways to show us this in the body of the query. 


For example: in the last paragraph when you mention that Ro has gone missing, that sentence could easily be rephrased to carry this impactful information about the kind of friend he is.

"Avia's best friend, Ro, is the opposite of Veek in every way. He *fun character trait 1*, *fun character trait 2*, and he never makes Avia feel like there is anything wrong with her or her missing wings. So when Avia discovers that Ro's gone missing, she..." and continue on from there. This is, of course, just an example (and not a very good one, really) so make it your own, but you get the idea.

This is a cool query with a good voice. Just need to hone in on where to add in/take out a couple of tidbits and you'll be good to go. :) You also obviously need an intro paragraph/info/personalization/etc, but I'm guessing you know this already and just stuck with the body of the query. 

Good luck!


~~~~

Okay, that's it for today and this query. Thank you so much for volunteering, oh mystery writer! :) I really hope this helped you. It takes guts to send in a query, to me or an agent. Go you! You have awesome guts! :)

So, what do you guys think? Agree or disagree with my assessments? Discuss! May we all be tougher and stronger thanks to our days in the fire.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Happy Book Birthday to Natalie Whipple & Transparent!

I am SO happy today to celebrate the release of an amazing book by my dear friend, Natalie Whipple!

Happy Book Birthday, Transparent!


*pets* *Stares at the pretty*

The cover is incredible. Possibly one of my favorites of the entire year...but it's so much more than the cover. This book guys...this book is awesome. I love the characters. Fiona is damaged, vulnerable and so tough. I love that kind of combination. The story is filled with bad guys, good guys, and hot guys (Ooh la la) The writing is excellent and the plot line is SO good. She takes the typical idea of invisibility and spins it like a top until you can't see it the same way ever again.

Here is the blurb from Transparent's page on Goodreads:

Plenty of teenagers feel invisible. Fiona McClean actually is.


An invisible girl is a priceless weapon. Fiona’s own father has been forcing her to do his dirty work for years—everything from spying on people to stealing cars to breaking into bank vaults.

After sixteen years, Fiona’s had enough. She and her mother flee to a small town, and for the first time in her life, Fiona feels like a normal life is within reach. But Fiona’s father isn’t giving up that easily.

Of course, he should know better than anyone: never underestimate an invisible girl.

My favorite description of this book though, is X-men meets The Godfather. I mean, seriously...how can you not want that? You really can't.

So, here you can order a shiny lovely copy for your very own!

And one more time...

Happy Book Birthday, Natalie! I'm thrilled for you! You and your book are going to knock people's socks off and leave them BEGGING for more!


~~~

Oh, and I'm over at Emma Pass's blog today discussing my favorite part about writing Insomnia! Come stop by and see & enter to win a NookHD!

Monday, May 20, 2013

So Many Happy Things!


This is me lately. All I want to do is grin and flail. All day all the time.

It's not very functional.

My book has started shipping from all over and people are getting it...

and posting pics of it...

and reading it...

And it just makes me so very...


You know what I'm sayin'? I think you do.

If not, I think we're in trouble because I'm just not capable of better communication at the moment. We can always just sit and smile at each other.

There are worse things to do. :)

But if you get tired of that...

Don't forget to enter to win a Nook HD! Or Enter to win one of TEN signed copies of Insomnia that we're giving away on Goodreads!



Goodreads Book Giveaway

Insomnia by J.R. Johansson

Insomnia

by J.R. Johansson

Giveaway ends May 31, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

I'll just be sitting here...still smiling. :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Forging Fridays - We're Getting Close


Today is our seventeenth Forging Fridays Query! Wow...sixteen, this year is flying by. Yay! We love volunteers! As stated before, I won't be revealing the identities of the volunteers for Forging Fridays unless otherwise requested. If you feel like unmasking yourselves in the comments, be my guest. But, I won't mention anyone by name.


Here is our next volunteer! *applause* *cheers* *confetti*

~~~~


Dear [Agent Name]:

PERMAFROST is a 75,000 word young adult fantasy. [Add in personalization to the agent.]
In the frozen tundra, Light and Dark each claim six months of every year and survival depends on the good graces of the twin goddesses.  Intriguing opening, but it isn't clear enough. Are the goddesses actually personified Light and Dark? Are there twin goddesses that give their grace to survival, but they're separate from these Light and Dark entities? Or is the 'goddesses' reference just some kind of metaphor for the light and dark?

Sixteen-year-old Aurora, a shaman-in-training with an eccentric passion for art, wants nothing more than to be useful to her village like her father, the head shaman.  Her last trial before completing her studies is to enter the malevolent Spirit Realm and greet the goddess of Dark at the annual coming-of-Dark celebration.  Any offense to the heartless goddess would cause six months of freezing and starvation. Great! This paragraph does a great job of telling us what she wants, what she has to do and what's at stake.

Aurora’s spirit guide should be waiting for her in the Spirit Realm, but when she arrives she is alone and unprotected; her great-grandmother’s spirit has gone missing.  Her disappearance could not have been voluntary as she is tied to Aurora, obligated to protect and guide her.  She’s been taken. 
Without her, Aurora cannot traverse the Spirit Realm or greet the goddess.  Many will perish due to Aurora’s failure How and why? This isn't clear.  Perhaps more frightening is her spirit guide’s disappearance. Not even her father can fathom what it may mean for the Spirit Realm or for theirs. This paragraph introduces a lot of information. I'd probably focus more on the central problem of the book. Is it that her great-grandmother's spirit is missing? Or is it about greeting the goddess. I see that they're tied together,but simplifying this is probably a good idea.

She is determined to rectify her offense, what offense? will there be no light because she didn't greet her? Or is there no light only if she offends Dark (as you mentioned). This should be clearer. find her great-grandmother’s spirit, and save them all.  Without a way to safely enter the Spirit Realm, Aurora leaves her beloved village with I'd rephrase this. The first couple of times I read it, it sounded like she was leaving the village in the trainees' care. Maybe just put in "and leads" right here  two fellow trainees on a suicide mission to cross the tundra.  They must find the only place where the spiritual and physical overlap – the feared frozen tomb of the goddess.

PERMAFROST will appeal to fans of fantasies based on cultures other than medieval Britain, such as Leigh Bardugo’s SHADOW AND BONE.  I am a member of SCBWI and an editorial intern for REDACTED.

Thank you for your time and consideration.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Strong finish. This is extremely well done. Just a bit of polish in a couple of places and you've got a great query here. Best of luck to you!


~~~~

Okay, that's it for today and this query. Thank you so much for volunteering, oh mystery writer! :) I really hope this helped you. It takes guts to send in a query, to me or an agent. Go you! You have awesome guts! :)

So, what do you guys think? Agree or disagree with my assessments? Discuss! May we all be tougher and stronger thanks to our days in the fire.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Debut Dabbles 3.5 Weeks Out

Before (and after) I got my book deal, I always wondered what it was like the last few weeks before a book came out. So, I thought I'd put it down here in vloggish form for posterity.

So here is the second report, recorded yesterday, 3.5 weeks before my book release and about a month before my book launch. Feel free to mock how badly I fail at this whole vlogging thing. :)




So there you have it. That's what I've been doing this week. What about you?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Craziness, Early Release & Final Copies!!

Today is twenty-seven days until the release of Insomnia and official madness has ensued.


We have the Insomnia Pre-Order Nook HD Giveaway going on. Also, I spent the weekend at Storymakers Conference which is always great.

So that's all awesome and amazing...

And then --

Amazon sent out an email to some of those that pre-ordered earliest, that they moved up their expected delivery date for Insomnia to THIS FRIDAY.

 
The cat is my fave, watch for him... :)


So, yeah...no big deal...just apparently that my book will be sent out to some of you as early as THIS WEEK! *cue sound of my head exploding here*

**Sidenote -- this will not alter the pre-order giveaway. Anyone ordering (with receipt dated) before the close of contest date on May 31st will be eligible to win whether the book is sent immediately or not.**

Oh, and if that wasn't enough, on Saturday, I came home from the conference to finished copies of Insomnia!!

Guys, I know this sounds weird knowing the creepy nature of the cover and all that, but these are gorgeous. They're done in matte with all the cracks out from the eye and the title glossy, it's incredible. Flux has really outdone themselves. I was blown away. This picture here is of the cover flat so you can see the whole thing, and even so, the pic doesn't do it justice, but you might be able to see a little bit of what I'm talking about here:



See how the lines kind of shine with the light? Plus, you can see his whole face better with the cover flat. It's so freaking cool!! :)

Anyway -- SO MUCH HAPPY FLAILING!!

Anything new with you? :)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Forging Fridays - Just a Smidge

Today is our sixteenth Forging Fridays Query! Wow...sixteen, this year is flying by. Yay! We love volunteers! As stated before, I won't be revealing the identities of the volunteers for Forging Fridays unless otherwise requested. If you feel like unmasking yourselves in the comments, be my guest. But, I won't mention anyone by name.


Here is our next volunteer! *applause* *cheers* *confetti*

~~~~

Dear [agent]

It was the day 12-year-old Jeremy Miner had dreaded for years. The day when the list of boys at St. Edith’s school finally dwindled to one: him. this is super cute. but after reading the next paragraph, I don't think you need it. You'll see what I mean.
I'd consolidate these two paragraphs and to be honest... I'd probably move this part to the top it's a stronger opening. Start with "12-year-old Jeremy Miner had a girl problem" and go on from there and then make the last line "and after an experiment in going coed fails, Jeremy is the only boy left". This is really cute and has great voice. I can practically hear him groaning. Because Jeremy had a girl problem. Or, more accurately, a girls problem. Four hundred and seventy-five of them. That’s how many girls attend St. Edith’s, after a failed experiment in going coed left the school with a diminishing roster of boy students.
When the second-to-last boy transfers, Jeremy realizes he needs to escape -- but his stressed-out single mother will never let him transfer, since the scholarship he has as the son of a school employee is the only reason she can afford to send him to private school at all. So he and his best friend Claudia hatch a plan to get him expelled through a series of escalating pranks designed to stir things up at the normally staid St. Edith's, involving armies of garden gnomes, doctored doorknobs, and a late-night snow masterpiece.  But when his pranks start to have unexpected consequences he begins to question if he's misjudged his school, his friends and himself all along. This all sounds great, I'd recommend adding just that extra punch of voice in this paragraph that you have in the previous ones and I think you're golden. Currently, this one reads a bit more like a synopsis than the rest of it and you want to carry that same voice throughout.
THE LAST BOY AT ST. EDITH'S is a 46,000 word contemporary realistic middle grade novel a set in the private schools and old mill towns of Western Massachusetts. I'm a Redacted

Thank you,
Redacted

So...pretty much this is awesome already. Just a few minor tweaks to make it even better. :) Hope this helps and good luck!

~~~~

Okay, that's it for today and this query. Thank you so much for volunteering, oh mystery writer! :) I really hope this helped you. It takes guts to send in a query, to me or an agent. Go you! You have awesome guts! :)

So, what do you guys think? Agree or disagree with my assessments? Discuss! May we all be tougher and stronger thanks to our days in the fire.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Debut Dabbles 5 Weeks Out

Before (and after) I got my book deal, I always wondered what it was like the last few weeks before a book came out. So, I thought I'd put it down here in vloggish form for posterity.

So here is the first report, recorded almost 5 weeks before my book release and about 6 weeks before my book launch. Feel free to mock how badly I fail at this whole vlogging thing. :)



And don't forget to stop over and enter to

Win a NookHD in the Insomnia Pre-order Giveaway! 

Monday, May 6, 2013

INSOMNIA NookHD Giveaway!

It is just over one month until the release of Insomnia.

Yes...seriously...


I think it's high time we give something awesome away, don't you? Yeah...that's what I thought. :)

So, here is the deal. Insomnia is up for pre-order all over the place for between $7.15 and $9.99. You pre-order a copy from the retailer of your choice, because we all know you want to--and even if you don't, I'm going to pretend you do because I'm delusional and I like it that way--after you pre-order, you can...

Enter to win a NookHD 16GB tablet w/blue case! 

($250 value)

I know what you're thinking..."But Jenn! I already pre-ordered my copy of Insomnia!" Fear not...that still counts. And it's even better for you, because you don't have to spend any additional money and you can still win the Nook!

Huzzah!

I'm sure right about now you're feeling like this guy:




But try to remain calm, it keeps the mouse from slipping out of your hands and injuring innocent bystanders. I know this from experience...

Don't ask. 

This giveaway is going through the end of May and once you put in your pre-order entry, there are other cool ways to earn bonus entries (like tweeting). I also have some awesome authors who are helping me out by hosting giveaway stops, so stay tuned for those. Here is a little more info on what Insomnia is about in case you need a refresher.

Here are a few places you can pre-order:




And for those planning to attend my book launch on June 18th (I LOVE YOU!), you can pre-order Insomnia on The King's English site now, check the "pick up at the store" option and it will be there for you at the launch party! Or if you'd like your copy signed and sent to you, just specify in the special order comments section on TKE's site and we'll make it happen.

Thank you so much for your support. Seriously, every single book purchase helps and I'm humbled by my amazing family, friends and fans. You are the best!

Now go! Buy! Enter! Win! :) 



Friday, May 3, 2013

The Epic Insomnia Dare of 2013


In honor of the impending release (37 days) of my debut novel, Insomnia, *cue hyperventilating in 3--2--1--* I wanted to do something fun.

And in this case, fun = 3 things.

~ Friends
~ Prizes (up for grabs will be signed YA books!)
~ A Good Cause (donations to help find a cure for Diabetes!)

Yep, hanging out, giving stuff away, and curing bad diseases -- It's what I do best.

So...I have challenged Elsie Chapman (author of kick-butt YA Novel, DUALED) to an INSOMNIA-OFF! Or as I like to call it,


The Epic Insomnia Dare of 2013 

Details: Starting this Sunday night, May 5 at 11pm (Pacific), Elsie and I will be taking on the Insomnia Dare.

Rules: Um...we don't get to sleep...duh. The winner is the last one awake and they shall be dubbed Queen of the Insomniacs and everyone must refer to her as She Who Needs Not Sleep. The loser must lavish the winner with praise for a full 24 hours and refer to themselves as The Peon.

~IF~

we both make it past the 4am mark, then we're both declared winners and receive the title and everyone who doesn't join in shall be The Peons!

Muahahahahaa...ha...hmm...

Statistics: On top of the regular and much-anticipated trash-talk, there will be hourly check-ins where we report these stats for the last hour:

* number of yawns
* words written (oh yes, we'll be writing. Probably not well, but we'll be writing)
* number of caffeinated beverages consumed
* $ amount donated to The Swear Jar

Awesome Side Note: We and our fellow Friday the Thirteeners have each put $5 into said Swear Jar. At the end of the Insomnia Dare, the total amount in the jar will be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, because finding cures = very cool.

Want To Play?
Follow our progress and chat with us on twitter!  We'll be using #InsomniaDare. You can donate your Swear Jar to the JDRF (If you do, tell us and we'll send you a shout out in our reporting post on Tuesday)!

Join in and stay up late with us! You too can compete for the title!


Tweet us your best "Exhausted Pic" for a chance to win a Signed ARC of INSOMNIA and a Signed copy of DUALED! 

And stop by our Friday the Thirteeners blog on Tuesday for a rundown of how the dare went. We'll announce the winner, post pics from our experience and giveaway the books!

Don't forget to use #InsomniaDare

So what do you think? Do you dare to play?

Forging Fridays - Middles Matter


Today is our fifteenth Forging Fridays Query! Wow...fifteen, this year is flying by. Yay! We love volunteers! As stated before, I won't be revealing the identities of the volunteers for Forging Fridays unless otherwise requested. If you feel like unmasking yourselves in the comments, be my guest. But, I won't mention anyone by name.


Here is our next volunteer! *applause* *cheers* *confetti*

~~~~
            ANCIENT GRAVITY, a contemporary young adult fantasy is complete at 107,000 words. I flinch at over 100k words, but I know in the fantasy area it is done, so if you're certain you've trimmed all the fat, then carry on. :)
            Being the center of a Mayan prophecy can be tricky, especially when you don’t know if you’re the good guy or the bad guy. Strong opening! My only concern here is that "if you're the good guy or the bad guy" weakens it a bit. I'd recommend finding a way to rephrase it.
            When Shea Chapman finally gives into temptation what temptation? What's tempting her about it? Give us a hint of who she is by showing her motivation here and trespasses onto the sacred Warrior Spires in the Black Hills of South Dakota, she crosses into an ancient land. So when you mention an ancient land and then this capitalized proper noun, I thought this was the name of the ancient land. I'd rework this and tell us a detail about the land. It's the setting and will matter. When you say ancient land, are we talking about Mayans again? Is this a time-travelling situation? We need more info here. Not necessarily all of it, but some of these questions should be answered. Kalem, a warrior who guards his tribe from the outside world, spares her life Why was he supposed to kill her?despite his honor bound oath.
            There is something beyond her interest in Kalem that pulls Shea into his forgotten world. She discovers that the thousand-year-old tribe living there is dying, and they’re desperate to restore the power that keeps them alive. If she can’t discover the truth of the prophecy before it falls into the wrong hands, then Kalem won’t be the only one who wants to steal her heart. . .  literally. You have a strong ending here, too, but in the middle we're straying a bit. 

Your first line and last line have great voice, everything in between falls a bit. I think this is because the motivations are missing for everything that happens. Why is she tempted? Tell us more about her. Why does he spare her? Tell us more about him. We know she has interest in him, but we don't know what it ties to--physical chemistry? Intense fascination with forgotten cultures? We don't know. Give us a closer look at your characters here and I think your voice will naturally come with that. This is a great and unique concept, you're only a couple steps away from a killer query! :) Good luck!
~~~~

Okay, that's it for today and this query. Thank you so much for volunteering, oh mystery writer! :) I really hope this helped you. It takes guts to send in a query, to me or an agent. Go you! You have awesome guts! :)

So, what do you guys think? Agree or disagree with my assessments? Discuss! May we all be tougher and stronger thanks to our days in the fire.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Slice of Insomnia - Lucky 13's Book Blitz

A few weeks ago, my Lucky 13s group did a fun Book Blitz on twitter. It was a blast. Random people tweeted page numbers and we posted lines from our books on those pages. It ended up being a lot of fun.

Today, for a fun little totally random slice of the book. I thought I'd post all the lines from Insomnia that came up during the blitz.




Pg 93: "She'll never be interested if you don't stop acting like Ted-freaking-Bundy!" --Finn

Pg 100: The only chance I had to make up for what I'd done to Mia was to save her.

Pg 23: The sporting goods store always smelled like a gigantic rubber ball dipped in pine-scented cleaner.

Last page: "Make sure someone totally ripped plays me in the movie." --Finn

Pg 4: Her blood spilled from the triangle of wounds through her shirt and onto the floral sheets.

Pg 20: He was a twelve-year-old, dressed up as Superman, battling a giant bunch of broccoli.

Pg 77: Pure fear filled my body from toes to eyebrows and I regretted the single violent thought I'd had against her.

Pg 56: "Come to the dark side. We have cookies." --Finn's shirt

Pg 102: "Although a very strong argument could be made for a padded cell and a white jacket these days." --Parker

Pg 99: We were divided. I was separated from everyone else.

Pg 34: "I half-expected a stuntman from the way you were driving, but apparently you're a rocket scientist..." --Mia

1st page: I groaned under my breath, sexy mom dreams are *really* not my thing.

Pg 155: If that fire was a memory, especially a recent one, she would need all the therapy she could get.

Pg 220: 'My addiction is you?" Man, that phrase had 'Things a Serial Killer Would Say' written all over it. --Parker

Pg 300: "And I'm the one who has to live with not knowing if I killed him, Addie--me." --Parker

Pg 171: She cried on the swing, her tiny body trembling and one long curl tangled up in the chain as the sky exploded around her.

Pg 10: I was ready to handle her the way I always did--with distraction. 


This time I added the character that spoke the lines that are dialogue, just for a little more information. Which line most intrigues you? Why?

Happy Wednesday!