Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Was It Something I Said?

Happy Book Birthday to dating coach Jess McCann's Was It Something I Said? The Answer to All Your Dating Dilemmas!  

Not only does Jess have Was It Something I Said? releasing this month by skirt! books, but an updated version of her previous book You Lost Him at Hello: From Dating to "I Do"-Secrets from One of America's Top Dating Coaches (HCI) is also being repackaged and rereleased.

In her new book, Jess gets into the nitty gritty of dating, she covers the trickiest and most troublesome scenarios in today's complicated dating world.  In a lot of ways, for writers, finding an agent is just like finding a mate. You want to find the perfect "match" for you and your work. With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to take one of the question from Jess' book and apply it to the author-agent relationship. Here goes:

How Do I Correct a Bad First Impression?

I've done my fair share of writer's conferences and bad first impressions happen more often than not-- authors stuttering through their pitches, drinking too much, or becoming angrily defensive of a critique. I know it's mostly due to nerves and often give writers the benefit of the doubt and let their writing speak for itself. However, if you're an author who has made this mistake and you want to make amends here is what Jess recommends (edited to fit our situation):

Admit Your Mistake: Crying to your writer friends while praying for the agent to call you won't fix anything. Take action and contact them yourself. Be honest. Tell them that you were extremely nervous. Then apologize.

Move On: If you see the agent again, don't mention your faux pas anymore. Telling them over and over again that it's not like you to be that way will lose its signifance if you keep watering it down with apologies. Everyone makes mistakes; no need to keep recapping yours. If the agent doesn't return your calls/emails or accept your apology, do not plot a recon mission to figure out how to win them back. What's done is done. Move on to the next agent and carry this lesson on with you. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Be Your Own Hero!

Happy Book Birthday to The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress! I remember the first time Adrienne told me about this book idea she had, she pitched it as a Steampunk whodonuit featuring three girls who are all assistants to powerful men. She envisioned it as a book that would move at the clip of an action-packed thriller while also dealing with issues like women’s place in society and science versus superstition. She asked me what I thought. My immediate response:

"Um, *YEAH!"
And then Adrienne proceeded to execute the book flawlessly. 
In The Friday Society she introduces three incredible characters:

Nellie: Assistant to the renowned magician the Great Raheem. Nellie is a gorgeous former burlesque girl with a talent of escaping tight situations-- but with flair!
Cora: Lab assistant to the inventor Lord White. Cora grew up on the streets and loves experimenting with big guns (what girl doesn't?)
Michiko: Trained as a samurai, she left Japan seeking adventure and gets stuck working as the fight assistant for Sir Callum Fielding-Shaw. Michiko hasn't quite mastered the English language, but she finds other, incredibly kick ass, ways to express herself.

What I love about this book is that even though the book is set in Victorian London, these girls don't depend on their powerful benefactors to fix their problems. Nope. These girls can take care of themselves. It's smart AND funny. What's not to love?!

*I believe there might've even been a "HELL" before that YEAH...

Monday, December 3, 2012

While You Were Sleeping...

While you were sleeping last night, Matthew & Steve Murries book While You Were Sleeping was released! 

This book is the perfect Christmas gift for any kid who wonders what happens when they go to sleep each night. I always thought my parents did this:

But Matt & Steve Murrie have finally revealed the truth in their new book

Here's just a taste of all the amazing things that happen each and every night while you snooze:

-Would you believe that the world’s largest migration occurs every night of the year? The migrating animals are not birds, mammals or insects but a fish that lives in the twilight zone of the world’s oceans. The bristlemouths travel around 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) from their daytime dwelling place to the shallow waters of the oceans to feed on the many, smaller fish and copepods that live up there. 
- The human brain does not “turn off” when you go to bed at night. There is evidence that suggests it may even be more active at night while you are sleeping, than while you’re awake during the day. Sleep scientists have discovered four kinds of brain waves; two of those waves are most active at night. 
-While you are closing your eyes at night, one plant, called the Seven Golden Candlesticks, closes up its leaves for the night. The Seven Golden Candlesticks is a tropical plant that produces a flower with yellow parts that look like candle wax. It has flowers on top of these yellow parts that are reddish orange which resembles a flame.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Stars Align for Passion Blue!

Happy Publication Day to Passion Blue by Victoria Strauss!

Victoria's inspiration for this book came from an editor who'd read her book The Lady of Rhuddesmere and wanted her to write a YA that dealt with the development of astrology throughout history. From that nugget of direction, Victoria took off running. She set Passion Blue in Renaissance, Italy, a time in which astrology was not just superstition, but a precise, exacting science, when every court had its own astrologer and anyone who could afford it had his or her horoscope cast at birth.

Since astrology is such a big part of Passion Blue, I thought it only appropriate to check out the book's horoscope for today. Couldn't be more on point! From Yahoo:

"Your ego needs a stroke or two today -- but try not to overdo it! It's all too easy to slide into megalomania, especially when you really are this awesome. Take what you need and leave the rest for others."

With that in mind, I'll only post one of the fabulous reviews that the book has been getting. Here's the starred review from Kirkus. Congrats, Victoria!!

Giulia is bright, curious and a gifted artist, born to a noble father and his humble mistress in 15th-century Renaissance Italy. Now her fate rests with her father’s widow, who’s sending Giulia to a Padua convent. Desperate to avoid a cloistered life, Giulia obtains a talisman that’s promised to deliver her heart’s desire: marriage to a good man and a home of her own. Convent life is hard. Highborn nuns enjoy freedom; others, like Giulia, labor at menial tasks. When her artistic talent’s discovered, she’s invited to join the close-knit group of artist nuns whose renowned work helps support the convent. Guided by Maestra Humilit√†, daughter of a famous artist, Giulia begins to learn this exacting craft with tasks like mixing egg tempera. Artists create their own colors, their recipes closely guarded secrets. Humilit√†’s precious passion blue is one; its beauty draws Giulia like a flame. So do visions of love and freedom beyond convent walls. But stealing away to meet handsome Ormanno, another talented artist, is risky. Fantasy elements and a historical setting rich with sensuous detail are satisfying, but it’s Giulia’s achingly real search for her heart’s desire that resonates most today, when millions of girls still have limited choices. A rare, rewarding, sumptuous exploration of artistic passion. (author’s note) /(Historical fantasy. 12 & up)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The first book in Lesley Livingston's newest series, STARLING, published this week! Woot, woot! 

This new book takes one of the hottest characters from her Wondrous Strange series, Fennrys Wolf, and throws him in the middle of his own crazy, sexy, fun adventure.  Lesley also creates an entirely new, entirely kick ass character: Mason Starling. I love this girl. (Yes, that's her on the cover. Cool, right?)

In honor of Lesley's pub week birthday, I thought it would be fun to feature each of the amazing trailers she's created for her books. 
Which one is your favorite? 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bad Things Happen on Wednesdays...

Luckily today is a Tuesday and, even better, it's the Tuesday that the middle grade book The Wednesdays comes out. Happy Pubday, Julie Bourbeau!

In honor of The Wednesdays I did some digging on why Wednesday has such a bad rap: 
  • Wednesday has the worst nickname of all the days of the week: Hump Day? Kids (and a few adults) have been snickering at this day for centuries. 
  • There is a color associated with Wednesday-- according to the Thai solar calendar-- and it's green, the color of envy, one of the seven dead sins.
  • In the folk rhyme Monday's Child "Wednesday's child is full of woe".
  • In Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, the disagreeable nature of the weather is attributed to it being "Winds-Day" (a play on "Wednesday").
  • In Richard Brautigan's In Watermelon Sugar Wednesday is the day when the sun shines grey.
  • In the Christian church, Holy Wednesday the Wednesday immediately following Easter, is also called Spy Wednesday, in reference to the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot.  
  • And, finally, in Julie Bourbeau's hilarious new middle grade book strange things happen on Wednesdays in Max's town-- cats get stuck in vacuum cleaners and birthday cakes meet horrific ends-- but why does all this mayhem only happen on Wednesdays? Mystery, magic, mischief, and monsters abound, as Max unravels the truth behind The Wednesdays.  
Order your copy today, who knows what will happen to your package if you order it tomorrow...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Two Kickass Women!

I'm thrilled to say Happy Pub Day to J.C. Carleson. Not only has J.C. written an amazing thriller with a tough female protagonist, but she's also an ex-spy herself! Of all my clients, she, by far, has the coolest bio:

J.C. Carleson's biggest adventure started when she finished her Ivy League education (Cornell), then joined the CIA’s clandestine service while she was in her mid-twenties.  In her capacity as an undercover CIA officer, she spent more than seven years jumping out of airplanes, traveling the world, learning to operate a variety of weapons, and mastering the art of disguise. Her travels have taken her from bomb shelters in war zones to cocktail parties in European capitals.  

Her debut novel, Cloaks and Veils, gives a reader a sneak peak into what it's really like at CIA headquarters, while also delivering a page-turning story. It's the perfect beach read!