Thursday, February 28, 2013

2 Character Bucket List: Anne Osterlund, Salva, and Beth from SALVATION

What do the main characters in SALVATION wish to accomplish before they die?

Salva:
1. Enjoy his senior year with his friends.
2. Pass AP English.
3. Protect his younger sisters.
4. Fulfill his parent’s dreams.
5. Make his father proud.
6. Get into a good college on a full ride.
7. Figure out what he wants to do with his life.
8. Win a state football championship.
9. Make up for all the sacrifices his parents and older siblings made on his behalf.
10. Find the guts to kiss Beth.

Beth:
1. Get into Stanford.
2. Get over Salvador Resendez.
3. Be a true friend.
4. Become a famous writer.
5. Read every single Shakespeare play.
6. Pass trigonometry.
7. Find true love.
8. Fulfill her grandmother’s hopes.
9. Get to class without losing anything.
10. Try NOT to be late.

About the Book:
A smart, unexpected romance from an award-winning author.

Salvador Resendez—Salva to his friends—appears to have it all. His Mexican immigrant family has high expectations, and Salva intends to fulfill them. He's student body president, quarterback of the football team, and has a near-perfect GPA. Everyone loves him.

Especially Beth Courant, AKA the walking disaster area. Dreamy and shy, Beth is used to blending into the background. But she's also smart, and she has serious plans for her future.

Popular guy and bookish girl—the two have almost nothing in common. Until fate throws them together and the attraction is irresistible. Soon Beth is pushing Salva to set his sights higher than ever—because she knows he has more to offer, more than even he realizes.

Then tragedy strikes—and threatens to destroy everything that Salva has worked for. Will Beth's love be enough to save him?

Thoughtful and romantic, this is a beautifully written story about following your heart and fulfilling your potential.

To purchase Salvation on Amazon
To find Salvation on Goodreads 



Author Bio:
Anne Osterlund is the author of four young adult books, including  
Aurelia and its sequel, Exile. Her second novel, Academy 7, won the OCTE Spirit of Oregon Award and was an ALA/YALSA Popular Paperback nominee. Anne works as a full-time author and presents for schools, conferences, and writing events. She grew up in the sunshine of eastern Oregon and earned a BA from Whitworth College, where she majored in elementary education with Spanish and English teaching fields. Anne lives in a cute little yellow house with her new feline friend, Simba, and her own library of young adult books. She and her characters can be found on her website at www.anneosterlund.com. Salvation is her fourth novel, and she has dreams of many more in the future.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

6 WOW Wednesday: Elana Arnold

At seventeen, I graduated high school. At twenty-one, I graduated college. Before my twenty-second birthday, I had moved to Northern California and enrolled in a Master’s degree creative writing program.

That program—like my character Will’s ability in SACRED—was both a blessing and a curse. It was a blessing because it was two years given to me to write. A grant and a teaching assistantship covered tuition, rent, and groceries (as long as I didn’t shop at the co-op, all fancy and organic), and my needs beyond that were pretty simple. Hot tea, lots of it. Whatever wool sweaters I could find at the thrift store, to layer with my secondhand jeans and the boots I used to ride in.

The curse, of course, was all that time to write.

Each quarter, a different professor led our creative writing workshop. Workshop was also a blessing and a curse.

One quarter, I had the privilege of working with Max Byrd, a writer of historical fiction. Somewhere during the middle of the term (during which I suffered about three different kinds of breakdowns—vehicular, emotional, familial)—he said something that resonated with me.

“If you have access to a world,” he told us, “a world that the rest of us don’t know about, write about that world.”

I didn’t know any hidden worlds. I didn’t have a special wardrobe that took me places, or a knife that could catch the fabric of the universe and create an opening to a parallel dimension. Hell, I didn’t even know this world—this real world—very well at all, it seemed to me.

My classmates were almost all older than I was—some much older. They were, many of them, categorically better writers. They were experienced. They’d traveled the world, some of them, or been married, and divorced. They had done things I didn’t think I even knew the words for, had the imagination to conceive. And they wrote about these things—Papa Doc in Haiti, crumbling marriages, intense affairs. What did I know? I had been in school, in school, in school. I had been with the same boy, who was now a man, since right after high school graduation. He had moved with me up the long skinny center of California, leaving behind waves and surfing because he loved me more.

Sure, I was in the process of slowly breaking both of our hearts, and wondering if we could mend them, if we should mend them, but I couldn’t write about that. Even today, years and years later, I can’t quite write about that.

But I liked that idea—the idea of inviting readers into secret worlds. I must have liked it a lot, because it stayed with me—through the rest of graduate school, through marriage and a job as a junior high English teacher, through the birth of my two children, through the purchase of our first house, our second house—and through the un-great stuff, too, our worry over our son’s health when he suffered infant seizures no one had an explanation for, through the stalled economy that led to my husband’s lay-off, through the sale of our dream home and our excursion onto the road with our kids and our pets.

And when I was finally ready to write—thirteen years after Max Byrd’s workshop—his advice was still there, it turned out, a stubborn little burr.

I did have access to a world, to many worlds, and as I wrote, those worlds permeated my story. The first, most obvious world that appeared was that of horses, and horsemanship. My character Scarlett wound her way up the trail to her island’s heart, tall astride her mare, as I had during my teen years, finding in my horse both a refuge and an outlet, a place I could be free.

I had more to say—more worlds to share, though they weren’t as obvious as the stable scenes. Still, though more subtle, they were worlds I owned, and if not doors, I opened at least windows into them—a shattered family, a disconnected body, a core-deep yearning for touch.

Max Byrd’s advice to share secret worlds shapes so much of what I write today, but if I were to lead a workshop like the one in which I was his student, I’d add something to his advice. I would tell my students—as I tell you now—You are the owner of secret worlds. You may not know just yet how to access them, or even that they exist. But they do, and you will.

And I would add one thing more, something I say to my own inside voices—Be gentle with yourself. There is time.

About the Author
ELANA K. ARNOLD completed her M.A. in Creative Writing/Fiction at the University of California, Davis. She grew up in Southern California, where she was lucky enough to have her own horse--a gorgeous mare named Rainbow--and a family who let her read as many books as she wanted. She lives in Long Beach, California, with her husband, two children, and a menagerie of animals. She is represented by Rubin Pfeffer of the East/West Literary Agency. Sacred is her debut novel.

Visit Elana's Website 
Follow Elana on Twitter




 About the Book
Growing up on Catalina Island, off the California coast, Scarlett Wenderoth has led a fairly isolated life. After her brother dies, her isolation deepens as she withdraws into herself, shutting out her friends and boyfriend. Her parents, shattered by their own sorrow, fail to notice Scarlett's pain and sudden alarming thinness. Scarlett finds pleasure only on her horse, escaping to the heart of the island on long, solitary rides. One day, as she races around a bend, Scarlett is startled by a boy who raises his hand in warning and says one word: "Stop."

The boy—intense, beautiful—is Will Cohen, a newcomer to the island. For reasons he can't or won't explain, he's drawn to Scarlett and feels compelled to keep her safe. To keep her from wasting away. His meddling irritates Scarlett, though she can't deny her attraction to him. As their relationship blossoms into love, Scarlett's body slowly awakens at Will's touch. But just when her grief begins to ebb, she makes a startling discovery about Will, a discovery he's been grappling with himself. A discovery that threatens to force them apart. And if it does, Scarlett fears she will unravel all over again.

Buy SACRED on Amazon
Find SACRED on Goodreads

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

14 Writing Scenes: Cooking at the Right Temperature by Lorin Oberweger

Scenes: Cooking at the Right Temperature
 
Guest Post by Lorin Oberweger

Just as with any element of fiction, the SCENE can be understood in many ways. Foundationally, it’s the building block of the novel, the bricks where elements such as emotional sequels or transitions that move characters from one place to another can be viewed as mortar.

At its core, a scene is a negotiation of some kind, the struggle between one character with a critical desire in the moment and another character or force with an opposing agenda.

Another way to consider scenes, however, comes in the form of emotional TEMPERATURE, the strength with which they grab hold of readers, involve them on a visceral level, keep them anxious, aroused, or invested in some way. The lower the scene temperature, the lower the likely reader investment.

HIGH TEMPERATURE SCENES INCLUDE:

CONFLICT between two or more characters--physical, emotional, or psychological. The scene contains a potent source of tension and friction, which can only occur when agendas clash.

OBSERVABLE, INTERESTING behavior on the part of characters, rather than summary or exposition. In other words, something is being enacted fully for our mind’s eye (and ear and heart).

TENSION in the form of unanswered questions—information withheld from the reader and/or from the protagonist.

POWER absent from protagonist upon entering the scene. When a character enters a scene in the position of being humbled or unsure, the scene carries far greater tension than if the character enters the scene with perfect certitude or with obvious physical advantage.

POWER taken away from protagonist during the course of the scene.

SURPRISING revelations, reversals of fortune, the unanticipated moment or response.

EMOTIONAL challenge of the protagonist--heightened feeling, loss of control, self-revelation, reckoning with things previously kept hidden in the emotional realm.

LOW TEMPERATURE SCENES INCLUDE:

AGREEMENT between two or more characters—often found in scenes where characters are commiserating with one another or filling one another in, procedurally, on elements of the quest at hand.

Characters in ISOLATION, REFLECTING on their actions, their lives, the decisions they now face.

IMPARTING of information, answering of questions. When characters are simply offered every answer they seek, there’s very little to pique reader interest.

EXPOSITION--summarizing of events, “telling” instead of showing.

POWER being bestowed upon the viewpoint character within the course of the scene—especially if they have not really worked toward achieving this end.

Protagonist entering the scene in the POWER position.

ELEMENTS acting in the protagonist’s favor. (Coincidences, luck, etc.)

Events unfolding just as EXPECTED--by both reader and characters.

Protagonist feeling CALM/COLLECTED/UNFLAPPABLE--entering a scene with full confidence, full knowledge, and an unshakable faith in the scene’s outcome.

While not every scene in a novel can or should unfold at the highest temperature, it’s often the case that readers don’t challenge themselves as fully as they might in this arena. They give us long passages of static exposition or of characters alone in thought. They answer questions for the protagonist before he or she has really had an opportunity to test him/herself in the pursuit of answers. They create scene after scene with characters alone with only their thoughts for company and no source of tension—or “heat”—on the page. The result can be a bit dreary, keeping the reader at an emotional arm’s length.

So challenge yourself to look at the scenes in your novel—either the ones you’ve written or the ones you have planned. What questions do you prompt the reader to ask? What sources of conflict do you throw in the path of your protagonist? How fully do you immerse your characters in a well-realized and sensory world, one in which they are physically and emotionally tested, and then tested some more?

Turn up the heat in your novel to make your reader suffer, dream, and truly LIVE on the page along with your characters. In the end, they’ll love you for it and keep coming back for more.

About the Author

LORIN OBERWEGER is a highly sought-after independent book editor and ghostwriter with almost twenty-five years experience in publishing. Her company, Free Expressions, offers writing seminars nationwide with literary agent Donald Maass and others, as well as the acclaimed Novel Crafting Retreats--intensive story development weekends for writers in all genres of fiction. The Your Best Book Workshop she and the company put on last October was hands-down the best workshop I've ever attended! To find out more about workshops, retreats, or editorial services, visit the Free Expressions website.

Monday, February 25, 2013

1 Reaching Beyond the Dark Moment in Your Writing

Hi Everyone,

Please scroll down to read the ten finalists in our Pitch + 250 contests. All of these finalists are currently being read by our panel of five agents, and we'll be announcing the winners soon.

Jan and I want to congratulate everyone who made this round, but also everyone who entered the contest, or any contest. Putting our work out there is hard. And sometimes, when you think you can't take another rejection, another blank page you can't see past, another time when someone didn't appreciate your work, the big break-through you've been waiting for is just around the corner.

I'm over at the Querytracker Blog today, posting on just that. You've heard of the monomyth theory? The steps of the heroic journey behind every story as explained by Campbell and Vogler? Well, those same steps apply to every writer. Stop by and see where you are on your own personal path to success.

http://querytracker.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-heroic-journey-of-every-writer-part.html

Have a great writing week!

Martina

14 Announcing the 10 Finalists for the Pitch+250 Contest

Once again, the entries were absolutely amazing, and the judges had their work cut out for them. 

The entries of the 10 finalists will be posted on the blog on Monday are posted below. Congrats to all of you!

A Song in Winter - Kate Michael
Becoming Jinn - Lori A. Goldstein
Blackrock - Kendal Muse
Gripped - Laurie Litwin
Harold - The Kid Who Ruined My Life and Saved the Day - Dana Edwards
Liar's Chair - Matthew Stern
Meditation - Larissa Hardesty
Starwisp - Rebecca Harwell
The Only One - Keely Dunn
The Snake and the Darkness - Mari Clark


A million thanks to all of our fabulous judges!!

Round 2 Judges - Authors

 
Angela Ackerman - Angela Ackerman lives in Calgary, Alberta, just a short drive from the Canadian Rockies. A writer of Chapter Books, Middle Grade and Young Adult, her work has appeared in Spider Magazine, Wee Ones Magazine and several local city newsletters. When she isn't plotting about pirates, zombies or monsters made of cereal, she enjoys photography and taking in the natural beauty of Alberta with her family. She belongs to several writing groups, moderates for The Critique Circle, an online critique community and co-owns a popular writer's blog, The Bookshelf Muse. She is the co-author of THE EMOTION THESAURUS.
Angela's website
Angela's Twitter




 

Jodi Meadows - Jodi Meadows lives and writes in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, with her husband, a cat, and an alarming number of ferrets. She is a confessed book addict and has wanted to be a writer ever since she decided against becoming an astronaut. She is the author of INCARNATE and ASUNDER.
Jodi's website
Jodi's Twitter







Mindy McGinnis - Mindy McGinnis is a YA writer repped by Adriann Ranta of Wolf Literary. NOT A DROP TO DRINK is a post-apocalyptic survival tale set in a world where freshwater is almost nonexistent. Coming Fall, 2013 Katherine Tegen / Harper Collins.
Mindy's website
Mindy's Twitter




Kat Zhang - Kat Zhang is an avid traveler, and after a childhood spent living in one book after another, she now builds stories for other people to visit. An English major at Vanderbilt University, she spends her free time performing spoken-word poetry, raiding local bookstores, and plotting where to travel next. WHAT'S LEFT OF ME is her first novel.
Kat's website
Kat's Twitter









Elana Johnson - Elana Johnson wishes she could experience her first kiss again, tell the mean girl where to go, and have cool superpowers. To fulfill her desires, she writes young adult science fiction and fantasy. She lives in central Utah where she spends her time with many students, one husband, and two kids. She is the author of POSSESSION and SURRENDER.

2 Pitch+250 - The Snake and the Darkness

Name: Mari Clark
Title: THE SNAKE AND THE DARKNESS
Genre: Young Adult (Action/Adventure)

250 Pitch:

Artistic, seventeen-year-old Liliana Perez would rather paint the jungle than explore it.

Still, she is willing to trek deep into the cloudforest of Peru—facing rain, hail, sleet, monsoon-like winds, superstitious campesinos, haunted mountain passes, vampire bats (the real kind) and vipers—to find her father and convince him to return to civilization. After all, since her father is responsible for cyberattacks causing blackouts and power grid failures, he is half the reason her world has gone dark. The other half: Francisco, the love-of-her-life fellow adventurer, is contemplating a future without her—as a Catholic priest.

Along with Francisco’s military-schooled brother, Lili’s difficult cousin, and a trio of strangers, Lili and Francisco reach her father’s jungle hideout to discover Lili’s father, a petroleum engineer, excavating a natural resource from the ground—and it’s not oil. Even worse, her father participates in ancient shamanistic rituals that blur the line between fantasy and reality and he blames a global conspiracy for the blackouts. Most important of all, the unexpected resource he unearths will bring unwelcome physical and spiritual consequences for Lili, Francisco, the other young explorers, and possibly the world.

Before it’s too late, Lili and Francisco must confront the darkness that has gripped her father in order to have a future filled with light.

1st 250:
Amazonas, Peru

For what seems like the millionth time this morning, the gears grind, the bus tilts, I jam my knees into the seatback in front of me to brace myself, and the kid across the aisle squeaks how incredible it is—“¡Qué incredible!”—to roller-coaster around another curve.

Incredible? More like un-freaking-believable.

Earlier, the little boy overheard me telling his Ashaninkan mother that I thought the view was incredible. She asked my opinion about this carnival ride of a bus trip, and I wanted to say something nice. Problem is the kid keeps repeating it: incredible. His new favorite word.

Bug-bitten and exhausted, I take out my cellphone and scroll down to read my cousin Martin’s email: Let’s hope morons in government haven’t closed airport again. If so no prob to take bus.

Wrong.

Lili, u speak Spanish. Will fit right in.

Wrong.

No worries traveling alone. Trust me, Lili. Lots of backpacker types wandering around Peru. Try to look like tour-or-ist and u will be fine.

Yeah, Martin, sure. Lots of backpacker types. But not like me. Hey, that’s great. You guys are going to the Sacred Valley to see Inca ruins. Me? I’m going to an isolated jungle in northern Peru to search for my missing father who may have done something really bad. Uh, did I mention that criminals like to hide out in this jungle?

And Martin’s joke comparing tourists to terrorists is getting a little old.

The rugrat across the aisles squeals again. He’s watching me. Because his big brown eyes remind me of Francisco, I smile and blow un besito at him.

2 Pitch+250 - The Only One

Name: Keely Dunn
Title: The Only One
Genre: YA Contemporary

Pitch:

When 15 year-old Shae Mackenna loses her mother to cancer, she also loses her school, her friends and her ice hockey team in just one summer. Forced to move away and live with her father in a small town, she must either fight for a spot on an all-boys' team or give up on the game she loves. Can Shae convince the doubters that she really belongs on the ice?

1st 250:
Shae Mackenna inhaled deeply as she walked down the cinder-block hallway, skate blades cushioned by the rubber carpeting underfoot. The stench of rancid hockey equipment almost overwhelmed the tang of frozen brinewater. She was home.

She let out her breath as she arrived at the players’ bench, stepping towards the closed gate blocking her from the ice. Shae waited to make eye contact with any of the men out on the ice. After she rapped her stick over the boards, one finally looked her way.

“Hey,” she called out through her helmet cage. “Can I play?”

The nearest players glided to a stop in front of her, open-mouthed, red-faced and puffing. They looked at each other, each waiting for the other guy to answer her question.

“I said: Can I play?” Shae asked again, drawing out each word enough to be clear but not so slowly as to insult them. She puffed out her chest a bit, looking several of the guys straight in the eye. It was a minor detail that ice level was a few inches lower than the bench area; right now, she needed every inch she could get.

“Look, no offence, sweetheart…” started one of the chubbier, shorter players. Shae had to stop from rolling her eyes. Calling her sweetheart was only something her dad could get away with. It wasn’t cool from a total stranger, especially some out-of-shape plug.

“What’s the big deal?” she asked, keeping her tone casual. “Give me five minutes. If I can’t hack it, I’ll leave.”

1 Pitch+250 - Starwisp

Name: Rebecca Harwell
Title: Starwisp
Genre: YA science fiction

Pitch:

Breaking into a high security space station and getting out with anything but cuffs on your wrists is impossible for most 26th century thieves, but Jez Starwisp isn't your average criminal. Raised on a backwards colony where the most advanced tech was a butter churn, she knows her way around lock picks and other archaic tools that top of the line security isn't designed to handle. Together with her annoying android partner, Jez sets out to make a name for herself as the greatest thief in the Stymphalian solar system.

Her next target: Stymphalian Station Beta and a priceless statue belonging to an important delegate. Everything goes according to plan, until the delegate enters the vault as she's robbing it. Before he can raise an alarm, a security guard walks in and shoots the delegate, leaving Jez alive and well to take the blame. With a murder charge on her head, half the solar system is after her (not quite the infamy she wanted), and Jez is staring at the very real possibility of being sent to the inescapable prison planet for life. Along with the help of a bitter adversary, unscrupulous space pirates, and some old-fashioned skill, Jez has to clear her name, stop a murderer, and, oh, save a planet.

The Stymphalian system asked for a hero. They got a thief.

1st 250:
That stupid android wasn’t listening to me again.
I covered my ears against the wailing siren and bent over the hatch. Below, the ladder disappeared into the darkness of the engine bay, punctuated by flashing red emergency lights. I squinted and called down, “Hapi? Just want to let you know I picked our mark for the job at Stymphalian Beta. When we get to the station, we’re stealing the statue.”

The ship shuddered, sending me flying across the tiny bridge and into a rusty metal wall. My breath escaped in a puff. I rubbed my elbow where it’d cracked against the steel. Underneath my tangled legs, the Disharmony’s engines sputtered. My teeth buzzed from the vibrations, and my pulse thundered in my ears.

“I’m a little busy now, Jez. Perhaps we can discuss this later.” Hapi’s voice drifted up from the bottom level of the ship. I crawled back to the hatch. The android’s subtle blue glow stood out against the dark. With inhuman speed, he rushed between engine panels, fiddling around where steam hissed up into the bay.

I gripped the edge of the ladder as another jolt rocked the Disharmony and forced myself to calm down. My gut twisted at the thought of possible engine failure, but that oversized blue computer didn’t need a frightened human to add to his list of things to deal with.

Not to mention he’d never let me live it down.

1 Pitch+250 - Meditation

Name: Larissa Hardesty
Title: MEDITATION
Genre: YA Thriller

Pitch:

Seventeen-year-old Bree Miller never expected her passion for yoga would save her life. But when she's kidnapped by a man in a mask who talks about obedience and punishment, her training is the only thing keeping her sane.

When Brian Sander's girlfriend Bree goes missing, he refuses to believe what the police are saying about her being a runaway. He knows she's in trouble, and decides to take things into his own hands, forming his own search group. He'll stop at nothing to find her.

As the stress and frustration of Bree’s disappearance push Brian to his limit, Bree fights her own battle against a madman who wants all of her—even if by force.

Alternating between Bree's and Brian's point of view, MEDITATION is a 45,000 word YA Thriller.

1st 250:
The chill in the air and the fog graying out the world make me wish I’d grabbed a jacket, but I don’t want to go back inside to get one. Not while Mom is in there wanting to talk about my feelings. As if she really cares.

Thinking warm thoughts, I step onto the sidewalk and glance around the neighborhood. It’s quiet on my street this early. I close my eyes and take in the stillness, listening to the soft sounds of morning. A sound that doesn’t fit breaks the peace, and I open my eyes. A Buick with blacked-out windows is parked two houses down. It’s so beat up and faded, I can’t even tell what color it is. Black? Gray? Dark blue? Regardless, it’s out of place here. I know it doesn’t belong to any of the neighbors.

A ribbon of steam trickles from the rear, and I wonder who is inside. Are they watching me?

Without warning, the car pulls forward, heading down the street. Thankfully in the opposite direction I am going.

Way to let your imagination run away with you, Bree. I release the breath I didn’t know I was holding, and try to shake off the lingering sense of unease. The heavy air presses on me as I walk, and I take deep, cleansing breaths. They help, and the peace of my familiar yoga practice falls over me. The sense of calm carries me most of the way to school.

2 Pitch+250 - Liar's Chair

Name: Matthew Stern
Title: LIAR'S CHAIR
Genre: YA Mystery

Pitch:

At Howard Otis Blanchard Academy, the swankiest private school in Seattle, Hammett Frye is the guy that can get you things. Need answers to the test? He’s got ‘em. A grade or two changed? Easy. Some beer for a kick-ass rager? No problem. All for a price, of course. So when geeky Marvin Willow asks Ham for some help keeping a football player the size of a bus off his back, it’s business as usual. Until Marvin is found dead at a party, hanged from a tree.

The police say suicide, and as much as Ham wants to believe it, he can’t. He may not have known Marvin well, but he knows people. Marvin wasn't the kind of guy to do that, and if he didn't kill himself, that means someone else did it. Ham was supposed to be watching out for Marvin, and he just can't let that slide.

Ham starts to look into Marvin's death, annoying pretty much everyone in the process. Marvin's sister Macy, the school principal, the cops. All of them want Ham to drop it. But as he digs deeper, he finds that Marvin pulled the thread of something nasty happening at the school. Something a lot worse than just a little underage drinking or cheating. As Ham keeps digging, and the people against him get bolder in their attempts to get him to stop, it becomes clear that Ham's chances of finishing the semester alive are slimmer than his chances of passing Chemistry.

1st 250:
I did it the way dealers do it. The taste is free. After that, you pay.

Not that I was a dealer. After Peter Kyle OD'd last year, I let everybody know that dealing in school was over. I didn't care about pot. Who the hell did nowadays? It was the hard stuff that would be met with a rain of destruction that would make Vesuvius look like a failed science experiment.

I could get away with statements like that.

Chem class. Last period of the day. Last day of the week. It was one of those days that grabbed you and threatened to drag you outside whether you wanted it or not. Kids sat out on the grounds chilling in what was likely the last nice weather we'd see for the rest of the year. Some were already heading toward the parking lot, escaping early. Those of us who were unlucky enough to have class last period just had to suck it up.

We had about five minutes left until class started. There were ten-minute breaks between classes. It was, according to the school handbook, "To permit students to socialize, network, and engage in lively discussions on a wide range of topics." Mostly, people just talked or tapped away on their phones. Texting, tweeting, or updating statuses. Anything but studying. And the discussion was certainly on a wide range of subjects. From who was banging who, to Hannah Stark's kick-ass rager last weekend.

1 Pitch+250 - Harold – The Kid Who Ruined My Life and Saved the Day

Name: Dana Edwards
Title: Harold – The Kid Who Ruined My Life and Saved the Day
Genre: MG, contemporary

Pitch:

Twelve-year-old Jake and Harold have been neighbors since kindergarten and if you ask Jake, that’s seven years too many. Who cares if Harold’s a genius when it comes to baseball trivia and Algebra? Jake is D-O-N-E! Harold’s “special” and he has a knack for ruining Jake’s social life. But when Jake gets an opportunity to play shortstop for the undefeated Comets, he’ll get a chance to ditch Harold and Jake’s second place team—unless he discovers winning isn’t everything.

1st 250:
On the first day of sixth grade, I cracked open the front door and looked outside. The bus stop was empty. So far, so good. I’d figured Harold’s mom would drive him this year like she did when he was in kindergarten. Harold had trouble when it came to new things. Well, that was one of his problems.

I walked toward the stop and from behind I heard, “Hey Jake! Wait up! It’s 8:03. Bus Number 6 will be here at 8:07.”

I walked faster and called over my shoulder, “Thanks for the update, Harold. I didn’t know I was so early. Tomorrow, I’ll sleep in a whole 4 minutes.”

Harold caught up with me and said, “I woke up at 6:33, but Mom said I couldn’t come out until I saw you.”

Great. Where is that bus?

“Hey, Jake, have you ever heard of Harvey Haddix?” he asked while he rummaged through his book bag.

I knew what he was looking for. Each year before school started, Harold added one green composition notebook to his school supply list and in that notebook he kept track of the times he beat me at anything—Texas Hold’em, NCAA 12, checkers. He’d write down the date, the game, and the score. He also wrote down baseball stats.

“Yeah, Harold, I know all about Harvey.”

I didn’t have a clue, but I thought just this once Harold wouldn’t go into his never-ending monologue about one more Major League ballplayer I’d never heard of.

2 Pitch+250 - Gripped

Name: Laurie Litwin
Title: GRIPPED
Genre: YA Contemporary

Pitch:

Seventeen-year old Taylor is supposed to be the homecoming queen, not the girl who shows up drunk at school and barfs on the vice principal. She’s spent three years climbing the social ladder at her prestigious private high school, snagging the hottie tennis star boyfriend, and landing the head cheerleader spot, all while maintaining a perfect GPA. So what if she needs a few drinks to cope with the pressure of maintaining her Miss Perfect image.

But that was before the hottie dumped her and she walked in on her dad banging a blonde bimbo. Not only is she without Blake, but her family is falling apart. And nothing terrifies Taylor more than being alone and unloved.

Suddenly, a couple of harmless drinks a week become a few dozen. Several benders later, Taylor is showing up at school drunk, tanking exams, getting into drunken fistfights at house parties, and sabotaging the chance at a relationship with the intriguing college guy in her advanced calc class.

One frigid December night, drunk and pissed off after an argument with her arch-frenemy, she gets behind the wheel of a car and slams into a tree – and the truth. She’s doesn’t know how to survive without alcohol and she'd rather die than give it up.

First 250:
There’s no bullshit in math.

Numbers aren’t flawed. They don't lie. There's a solution for every problem. One solution. And there's only one way to get it. Two plus two never equals five.

Also, numbers can be perfect. For example, the number six. And the number twenty-eight. This is what I strive for every day. To be like the number six.

I’ve worked my ass off to get where I am. Everything is falling into place, and just in time for Senior year.

Captain of the Varsity Cheer squad. Check.

Hottie tennis star boyfriend. Check.

All honors and AP. Check.

My parents should be proud. I’ve done everything they’ve asked the last three years. Now maybe they’ll back off. Let me enjoy being a senior without all of the pressure.

I pull into the driveway, glad to have the first week of senior year behind me. The house looks empty, but that’s not a surprise. My parents are never home. The place is like a freaking museum. Cold, quiet, sterile. Everything inside immaculate and perfectly placed.

Grabbing my purse and advanced calculus book off of the passenger seat, I head up the walkway and let myself in the front door, kicking the door closed behind me. Like an itch that needs scratched, a subtle tugging in my gut propels me to the kitchen. Without thinking, I grab my favorite glass from the glass-fronted cabinet. It’s a tasting glass from the Cupcake Winery. It has a pink cupcake etched on it.

1 Pitch+250 - Blackrock

Name: Kendal Muse
Title: Blackrock
Genre: YA Magical Realism

Pitch:

Marley Pace has resigned herself to life in Blackrock. It’ll mean spending her senior year in self-imposed homeschool exile, but she doesn’t mind. After the way her summer ended, she figures she deserves it.

All she wants is to prove she can stay out of trouble. Living in a sleepy Florida beach town should make that easy, but then she discovers the Preserve, an eroded stretch of beach hidden behind dense woods and a chain-link fence. She barely steps inside before the Sinclairs, Blackrock’s most troubled family, warn her to stay away.

Normally, an order that direct would only pique her interest, but this time she couldn’t agree more. Besides hating the ocean, there’s something about that place, a feeling that crawls up her arms and legs, and she has no intention of going back—until she finds the box hidden in her attic.

Her own past is tied to the Preserve in ways she never could’ve imagined, and Marley wants answers. If she can’t get them from her mother, she’ll get them from the Preserve, even if it means getting caught between the Sinclair version of a rock and a hard place.

Paul, the oldest and a notorious hothead, wants her to stay away from the Preserve and his family, or else. But his sister doesn’t seem to agree. Samantha is the Sinclair everyone whispers about, the subject of all the worst family rumors, and what she wants, more than anything, is Marley’s help.

1st 250:
The first time I saw Samantha Sinclair, I was using the pay phone at the Blackrock Corner Market. I shouldn’t have known who she was—we’d only been in town a few weeks—but the way people were watching her, it was obvious.

I was standing in the back getting my usual stares and whispers, the same ones I got any time I dared use their relic of a pay phone, though by now I was used to it. What I wasn’t used to was the way every gaze shifted when she walked in.

My cousin had been telling me stories about the Sinclairs for years. They were supposed to be a three-piece-set, rarely seen out of each other’s company, but today her brother and sister weren’t with her. Alone, she looked like any other surfer on their way home. There was a window next to the pay phone, and I’d watched her park out front, a surfboard fastened to the top of her little blue Nissan. She could’ve been anyone, but she wasn’t.

People had a way of staring at you when they’d spent time talking about you behind your back, and it was no different with Samantha. I knew that look because I’d gotten it plenty myself, but there was a little something extra in hers. Apparently, the stares were worse when people also thought you might be crazy.

I hung up before Calvin’s machine could answer; these days I had it down to a science.

2 Pitch+250 - Becoming Jinn

This entry was removed from the contest, because the author recently accepted representation from an agent. Congrats and best wishes, Lori!

Name: Lori A. Goldstein
Title: BECOMING JINN
Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy

Pitch:

Wishing doesn’t make it so, Azra does. For the first fifteen years of her life, Azra has happily followed the rules and pretended to be a normal human girl. But the morning of her sixteenth birthday, her dormant powers as a genie are awakened, and the rules change. Azra now serves the Afrit, the powerful rulers of her Jinn world. She’ll go where she’s told, perform on command, and do it all without question. Since defying the Afrit is a one-way ticket to Jinn jail, she’ll follow the rules — sort of.

Bitter about living a life controlled by others, she rebels in the only way she can. She tosses the Jinn handbook aside and wings it. When she sloppily grants a wish for the boy across the street, he not only becomes Azra’s best friend but the only human to know her true identity.

But Azra’s genie mistakes begin to mount, along with the consequences, as she uncovers a secret about the father she’s never met, the source of her curiously strong magic, and why the Afrit have been watching her so closely. If Azra doesn’t embrace her life as a genie, the Afrit will take her away from everyone she loves. And if they find out she outed the Jinn world to a human, her sentence will be jail, but his just might be death. As Azra uncovers the darker world of becoming Jinn, she realizes when genies and wishes are involved, there’s always a trick.

1st 250:A chisel, a hammer, a wrench. A sander, a drill, a power saw. A laser, a heat gun, a flaming torch. Nothing cuts through the bangle. Nothing I conjure even makes a scratch.

I had to try, just to be sure. But the silver bangle encircling my wrist can’t be removed. It was smart of my mother to secure it in the middle of the night while I was asleep, unable to protest.

Though my Jinn ancestry means magic has always been inside me, the rules don’t allow me to begin drawing upon it until the day I turn sixteen. The day I receive my silver bangle. The day I officially become a genie. Today.

I slam my newly acquired accessory against my bedroom closet, leaving a rounded indent on the wood door. The pristine, gleaming metal mocks me. For the rest of my life, I’ll go where I’m told, perform on command, and do it all without question.

Screw that.

Barefooted, I can’t kick the pile of tools without impaling myself. I settle for shoving the saw and catch a reflection of myself in the blade. Right, how could I forget? I race to my bathroom and fling open the door. At the mirror, I inspect all the ways my body has been altered while my mind was unable to resist.

Always lanky, my form is now a study in angles. My cheekbones protrude like a shelf, the bones on my hips jut out, and my elbows are sharp like a sword.

1 Pitch+250 - A Song in Winter

Name: Kate Michael
Title: A SONG IN WINTER
Genre: YA Fantasy

Pitch:
When tragedy strikes, 17-year-old Genna retreats deeper into the cocoon of silence she’s maintained since childhood–until Coll, her otherworldly guardian, appears and reveals what she is: one chosen by the gods, destined to become the Immortal Season, Winter. Hunted by a sorceress who has loosed an ancient evil, Genna must now harness her gifts of Song and Air to defend both herself, and the Winter Lands that stand poised on the knife-edge of war. But power always demands a price. Immersed in a dangerous, glittering realm of myth and legend, Genna must make a choice: her destiny, or her mortal life. If she returns home, she’ll lose the one she’s come to love. If she accepts her birthright, she’ll lose the only family she has left, and possibly her soul as well.

First 250:
On the day of my birth, the Winter Solstice, I did not cry, as most newborn infants do when thrust into an unknown world devoid of the warmth and safety of their mother's womb.

I sang.

Only a few notes to be sure, but they were pure, and held the breath of magic.

My mother, who knew nothing of the worlds that shadowed our own, merely smiled and cradled me to her, calling me her little songbird. Little could she have known her words prophetic, or that she would not live to see them fulfilled.

She gave me the name Genevieve, from her favorite operetta and the legendary heroine for which it was written. My sister Natalia, born ten years before me on Christmas Eve, was likewise named for musical inspiration, hers aptly chosen from the Cantica Natalia.

My sister and I both inherited our mother’s raven locks and pale skin, but where Natalia’s eyes were hazel, like our mother’s, mine shone grey, like a winter sky before snowfall. Our mother’s love and talent for music passed naturally to us as well, though for me it was somewhat different.

I did not know it then, but I had been marked by the gods as surely as the stars mark the heavens.

Oddly enough, few knew I could sing. My mother often said that her daughters’ talents far surpassed her own and Natalia would happily sing when asked, her clear contralto silencing everyone in the room.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

2 This Week for Writers 2-23-13

Getting Published

First Five Frenzy with Laurie McLean of Larsen Pomada...
from chasingthecrazies

What Makes You a Marketable Commodity
from Babbles from Scott Eagan

To Enter or Not to Enter?
from Chip MacGregor .com

Co-Agents and why they rock
from @KOrtizzle

How To Make A Professional Standard Print Book Interior...
from The Creative Penn

Interview with Literary Agent Jennifer Udden
from YA Stands

Grand Central Publishing to Expand Forever Imprint’s...
from GalleyCat

5 Reasons Agents Don’t Explain their Rejections
from Rachelle Gardner

Agent Spotlight: Amy Jameson
from Literary Rambles

FIRST FIVE FRENZY – Elizabeth Kracht – Kimberley Cameron...
from chasingthecrazies

Highlights from San Francisco Writers Conference
from chasingthecrazies

Perfect Your Pitch: The Short Synopsis
from WriteOnCon.com

A Bit of Secret Agent Etiquette
from Miss Snark's First Victim

PUTTING A CALL OUT FOR NEW ADULT MS
from JILL CORCORAN BOOKS

IndieRecon, Day One
from Kathryn Jankowski

How the internet is kickstarting a teen poetry revolution
from Books news, reviews and author interviews | guar

WriteOnCon! Pitch Fest Pep Talk
from The Emperor of Ice Cream

Pitch-Writing Advice from Literary Agent Peter Knapp
from WriteOnCon.com

Independent Thinking
from Craic-er

Should the agent tell me where he sent my manuscript?
from Chip MacGregor .com

Amazon enforces its rules
from The Passive Voice - Latest Updates

RHCP and Movellas.com launches teen comp
from Bookseller news

How to Know When to Quit Pursuing Publication
from Author, Jody Hedlund

What the hell do you DO all day?
from Janet Reid, Literary Agent

Question from a writer - Happy with a publisher, but...
from Babbles from Scott Eagan

Guest Post: Penguin Art Director Giuseppe Castellano...
from Pub(lishing) Crawl

Interview with Agent Kristin Nelson
from Pub(lishing) Crawl

What Agents Want in the First Five Pages
from Falling Leaflets

High stakes if Apple e-books antitrust case goes to...
from The Passive Voice - Latest Updates

Query Roundup 2/15
from Confessions

A PATH TO PUBLISHING--ENTER TO WIN!!!
from Operation Awesome

The Long and Short Story of It
from Yes, This Will Be On The Test Leslie S. Rose

About My Query: EMBROL
from kt literary

Do you need a literary agent?
from Nail Your Novel

Pitch Madness ... details
from Brenda Drake . . . under the influence of coffe

How To Format The Dreaded Synopsis
from Publetariat: For People Who Publish!

How to Write a One Page Proposal
from Stavros Halvatzis

Juanita Kees - To Edit or Not To Edit
from Just Jemi

The author has four faces: A writer's survival guide
from Notes from the Slushpile

Self-Published Authors Share 5 Things They Learned...
from Live Write Thrive

Building a Better Query
from Operation Awesome

Week 1: Self-Publishing With KDP
from YA Stands

Susan Kaye Quinn and Laura Pauling Debunk Indie Publishing...
from Paranormal Point of View

Inspired Openings: Special Agent Edition
from Adventures in YA Publishing

Inspiration and Smiles


On Inspiration
from Beth Revis

Brace Yourself: Rejection Is Coming -
from Publishing Crawl via Marie Lu

Three Months Until I'm Published
from Between Fact and Fiction

Irish Customer Service
from The Passive Voice - Latest Updates

Guest Post: Denise Dowling Mortensen on Mining Your...
from Cynsations

Great Expectations
from Claire King

WOW Wednesday: Rachel Caine on Making Mistakes
from Adventures in YA Publishing

Stuck? Five Ways to Write Forward by Rochelle Melander
from Amwriting Blog | Amwriting Blog

My crazy three years since "the call"
from Don't pet me, I'm writing

Lengthening the Chain: Part 2
from The Bookshelf Muse

Comfort Things: Writing & Revisions Cuisine
from YA Highway

Give Yourself A Celebration (Plus: Giveaway!)
from Writer Unboxed

The Brain as Grand Central Station
from Wendy Paine Miller ~ thoughts that move

Yoga for Writers by Raima Larter
from Amwriting Blog

The Secret to Writing a Novel Is . . . by Ron Vitale
from Amwriting Blog | Amwriting Blog

10 tips for finding the time, energy and motivation...
from Andrew Jack Writing

Writing Doubts: Climbing Out of the Pit
from Wordplay: Helping Writers Become Authors

What Next? 15 Questions to Help you Decide Your Next...
from Fiction Notes

Flying Fingers or Tapping Toes: Art is Art is Art
from Writer Unboxed

Loss of faith
from Books news, reviews and author interviews | guar

Quote of the Week: Art & Fear
from Ingrid's Notes

How To Sell 8 Million Books
from Bestseller Labs

8 Ways to Organize Your Brain
from Wendy Paine Miller ~ thoughts that move

Einstein and Fairy Tales
from Novel Matters

Story Elements

Video: Metaphors in Worldbuilding
from TalkToYoUniverse

How to Revise for a Stronger Theme
from Jami Gold, Paranormal Author

Writing About Weather
from Artzicarol Ramblings

One key to handling exposition
from Go Into The Story

Are you good at writing characters?
from Go Into The Story


5 Tips to Effective Dialogue
from Blood-Red Pencil

A Question of Description
from Writer Unboxed

Dissecting a Bestselling Novelist's First Chapter
from Oasis for YA

2 Dialogue Tips from Studying SitComs: Just Spit it...
from Fiction Notes


Three Ways to Ground Readers in Your World
from The Other Side of the Story




Story Structure




Writing with the Snowflake
from YA Stands


Writing Vivid Scenes
from Pub(lishing) Crawl


10 Tips to Immediately Create GREAT PLOTS
from Plot Whisperer for Writers and Readers

6 Ways To Get Rid Of Infodumps At The Beginning Of...
from Karen Woodward


Plot, Story and Tension
from Karen Woodward

Guest Post: Breaking the Mould by Paul Anthony Shortt
from The Sharp Angle

Story Structure Provides A Framework For Meaning
from Karen Woodward

Conflict vs. Complication
from Babbles from Scott Eagan

Good to Great: Nail a Better Concept To Empower Your...
from Storyfix.com

Editing tricks: non-linear timelines
from Andrew Jack Writing

Is the opening of your novel or screenplay like a...
from Time to Write

Six sentence story planning for pantsers.
from Andrew Jack Writing

Structuring Your Scenes, Pt. 11: Variations on the...
from Wordplay: Helping Writers Become Authors

Writing A Feel Good Story
from Karen Woodward

Writing Craft

Making the Pages Cry
from Kristen Lamb's Blog

Getting Started in Writing – Online Workshop
from Writers Digest University

Making The Pages Cry
from The Bookshelf Muse

The Week in Writing: My Favorite Posts & Tips 2/22/13
from Kami Garcia -- NYT Bestselling Author (The Beaut

Writing the Paranormal Novel – Online Workshop
from Writers Digest University

Writing the Breakout Novel – Online Workshop
from Writers Digest University

Jane Friedman: The Relationship You Have With Your...
from LEIGH BARDUGO

Visual Methods of Writing
from Mystery Writing is Murder

I Wonder, Where Is That Comma?
from Live Write Thrive

Defining the Reader Part 1
from Blood-Red Pencil

The Benefits of Talking Through Your Scenes
from The Other Side of the Story

Writing Trends
from YA Muses

Make the Reader Weep or Laugh
from WOW! Women On Writing Blog

When is it overwritten?
from TalkToYoUniverse

Immaturity in Writing
from The Bluestocking Blog

5 Compound-Word Corrections
from Daily Writing Tips

Always a Beginner by LJ Cohen
from Amwriting Blog | Amwriting Blog

Book News: Defending Fiction, Tweeting Poetry
from Page-Turner

Trending - by Donna
from YA Muses

Joanna Penn's Tips For Writing Realisitic Fight Scenes
from Karen Woodward

3 Cases of Extraneous Hyphens
from Daily Writing Tips

Never Avert Your Eyes
from Ingrid's Notes

Craft Post: Anna Collomore
from Adventures in YA Publishing

Guest Author Pamela Fagan Hutchins: Dialect in Dialogue:...
from The Other Side of the Story

How To Read Like A Writer
from terribleminds: chuck wendig

3 Types of “Not Only . . . But Also” Errors
from Daily Writing Tips

Infinitives: To split or not to split
from edittorrent

Eventually you won’t be thinking about style
from The Passive Voice - Latest Updates

Question from comments re: sequential action
from edittorrent

Screenwriting Software: Adobe Story
from Karen Woodward

Five Ways to Handle Stuff and Other Nonsense
from Mystery Writing is Murder

Guest Post: Is Scrivener Right For You? with Naomi...
from AuthorCulture

What’s In a Name?
from Blood-Red Pencil

25 Synonyms for “Deceptive” and “Fake
from Daily Writing Tips

Real Life Diagnostics: How Do I Make People Aware...
from The Other Side of the Story


News and Trends


Amazon puts FREE ebook promotion sites out of business?
from The Passive Voice - Latest Updates

UK literary agency partners exclusively with Amazon...
from The Passive Voice - Latest Updates

‘Twilight’ author Meyer plots another trilogy
from The Passive Voice - Latest Updates

Author As Innovator: The Future of Publishing is Story,...
from Writer Unboxed

What's next for books in the digital age? Outlook...
from Books news, reviews and author interviews | guar

60% of Audiobooks Sold Are Now Digital
from GalleyCat

A Conversation with the YA Marketplace
from YA Muses

Anti-Bullying Poem Goes Viral
from GalleyCat

Joining the publishing industry
from YA Stands

The 2013 Crystal Kite Members Choice Award Round One...
from The Official SCBWI Blog

US indies launch DRM lawsuit
from Bookseller news

EC confirms crackdown on e-book VAT
from Bookseller news

Guest Post: Teen Author Boot Camp
from YA Highway

Half of Amazon Book Sales are Planned Purchases
from The Passive Voice - Latest Updates

Book News: Big Payouts, Fit Librarians
from Page-Turner

Pay it Forward Contest Winners
from Beth Revis

Book Deals: Week of February 18, 2013
from PublishersWeekly.com News Articles

What fiction trends are coming and going?
from Chip MacGregor .com

American Writers Museum to Open in Chicago
from GalleyCat

Germany backs out of World Book Night 2013
from Bookseller news

Winning Battles for Writers: National Writers Union
from WOW! Women On Writing Blog

WRITING FOR TRENDS
from YA Muses

The YALSA Hub Reading Challenge, Shiny and New
from School Library Journal

Josh Boone to Direct ‘The Fault in Our Stars’
from GalleyCat

Call for LIS Student Scholarship Applications
from School Library Journal

Looking for new Intern
from S.R. Johannes

Patricia Cornwell wins $50m in damages
from Books news, reviews and author interviews | guar

What is New Adult?
from The Passive Voice - Latest Updates

SFWA’s Norton Award Nominees Include Bray, Hartman,...
from School Library Journal

Solicitation Alert: Blessed Hope Publishing
from Writer Beware ® Blogs!

IndieReCon starts tomorrow
from S.R. Johannes

Winners for February Secret Agent
from Miss Snark's First Victim

The Jane Yolen Mid-List Author Honoree Profiles: Margo...
from The Official SCBWI Blog

In defense of love triangles interests
from Pub(lishing) Crawl

Publishing Pulse: 2/15/2013
from QueryTracker Blog

What’s the Buzz? Nonfiction Books for Common Core
from School Library Journal

Field Trip Friday: February 15, 2013
from YA Highway

Combat the Dangers of Sitting
from Blood-Red Pencil

Dizzy: When publishing is stranger than fiction
from Operation Awesome

TOC 2013: Startups, Sharing, And the Future of Publishing
from PublishersWeekly.com News Articles

News for Nerds (14)
from Katie's Book Blog

YA Inspired Art
from YA Stands

Lucy Mangan: sorrows and Amazon
from Books news, reviews and author interviews | guar


Networking and Promotion

Pub Rants Has Moved!!
from Pub Rants

What makes you want to comment?
from Katie's Book Blog

Guy Kawasaki’s 10 Social Media Tips for Authors
from The Passive Voice - Latest Updates

Interview & CONTEST with author S.R. Johannes
from Oasis for YA

Why Book Sales is a Terrible Goal
from Author Marketing Experts, Inc. » BLOG

7 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Book Sales Without Even...
from Bestseller Labs

Never Again Hate Self-Promotion
from Rachelle Gardner

All You Ever Wanted to Know About the Writing Conference...
from Kristen Lamb's Blog

How to Submit Your eBook to Pixel of Ink and BookBub
from BookBaby Blog

Stuck in Social Media Overwhelm?
from Author Marketing Experts, Inc. » BLOG

Skype in the Classroom with Shaunda Kennedy Wenger
from Blood-Red Pencil

How to Build an Audience Using Gamification
from Copyblogger

New CONTEST announced with my Upcoming Blogging and...
from Stacey O'Neale's Site

12 Social Media Mistakes for Authors to Avoid
from Anne R. Allen's Blog

Building a Platform vs. Promoting a Book
from Rachelle Gardner

3 Simple Questions Your Website Should Answer
from Men with Pens

A different way to tell and find stories
from Time to Write

7 Libraries Of Sensational Photographs You Can Use...
from Bestseller Labs


Books and Giveaways

PW Picks: The Best New Books for the Week of February...
from PublishersWeekly.com News Articles

Freebie Friday: A THANK YOU Giveaway
from Mundie Moms

Judging Young Fiction By Their Covers - Yanks vs Limeys
from Notes from the Slushpile

The Fear... of Sequels
from Candace's Book Blog

CassaStorm cover reveal!
from Laura Pauling

New YALit Releases 2/23 - 3/1 Plus WICKED KISS Giveaway
from Adventures in YA Publishing

Character Bucket List: Cecilia M. Robert and Ana Maria...
from Adventures in YA Publishing

Reviews by a Real Teen: Beautiful Creatures by Kami...
from The Story Siren

Valentine's Surprise WINNERS! And Another Giveaway!
from Justine Dell--official blog

The First Step to a Quality Book–A Doubleday Editor...
from Kristen Lamb's Blog

Beautiful Creatures Giveaway
from Margaret Stohl

3000 FOLLOWERS MEGA, MEGA GIVEAWAY
from Literary Rambles

February Giveaways from Chronicle Books
from School Library Journal

Pick of the Day: Just One Day
from School Library Journal

Tour: Guest Post & Giveaway - JORDYN by Tiffany King
from Confessions of a Bookaholic

Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting Tour Info & Sign-Ups
from Candace's Book Blog

TIP TUESDAY #153 AND BITOPIA GIVEAWAY
from Literary Rambles

Cynsational News & Giveaways
from Cynsations

2 ways to win 2 KOBO ereader - sponsor of IndieReCon
from S.R. Johannes

10 Classic Books You Read in High School You Should...
from PublishersWeekly.com News Articles

February Debut YA Novels
from Stacked

YA Book News: An Epic Week of Cover Reveals & Bookish...
from Mundie Moms

ICONS ARC Giveaway!
from Margaret Stohl

A Natural History of Dragons: giveaway, book art,...
from WORD for Teens

Review: The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead!
from YA Stands

Top 10 vicious literary hatchet jobs
from The Passive Voice - Latest Updates

thenewno2 Giveaway (Win a GUITAR and more)
from Margaret Stohl

An Ode to the Series, Contemporary YA Style
from Stacked

Giveaway: Try Not to Breathe by Jennifer Hubbard
from The Story Siren

Cressida Cowell's top 10 mythical creatures
from Books news, reviews and author interviews | guar

It hardly gets any better
from Carolrhoda Books Blog

Looking for Light: ‘In Darkness’ author Lake talks...
from School Library Journal

KIRKUS: TOP 10 TEEN MOVIES ADAPTED FROM GREAT BOOKS...
from Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Creatures Movie Valentine's Day Giveaway
from Mundie Moms

Mundie Moms 4th Birthday: Birthday Bash!
from Mundie Moms

Giveaway: Signed paperback of TRY NOT TO BREATHE
from Confessions of a Bookaholic

New YALit in Stores 2/16-2/22 Plus Giveaway of THE...
from Adventures in YA Publishing

Beyond The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd: YA...
from Novel Novice

{Giveaway} Mind Games by Kiersten White
from Reading Teen

Scholastic Unveils New Cover for Harry Potter & the...
from GalleyCat

Upcoming Giveaways!
from Between Fact and Fiction

Free Books for Valentine’s Day
from GalleyCat

Happy Valentine’s Day: Safe Haven Giveaway!
from The Story Siren

The Best Kind Of Valentine's Day Present... A Book!...
from The Official SCBWI Blog

Character Bucket List: Alex Lidell plus Swag Giveaway
from Adventures in YA Publishing

The Book by Jessica Bell (Review and Giveaway)
from WOW! Women On Writing Blog

Beyond The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd: Classic...
from Novel Novice

Colorful Personalities Brighten Book Club Conversations
from Wendy Paine Miller ~ thoughts that move

Valentine's Day Giveaway
from Amanda Hocking's Blog

New Releases & Giveaways: Feral Nights, Eternal: Zachary's...
from Cynsations