Link of the Week – Winter Writing Festival 2019

January 8, 2019

It’s time once again for the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival. Time to kick your writing into high gear. WHOOO HOOO!

winterwritingfestfacebookimageThrough the bleakest part of winter–January 10, 2018, thru February 28, 2018–the much-anticipated NINTH Annual Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival will be here to keep your creative fires burning with support, advice, inspiration, and regular writing sprints in our chat room. There are fun prizes for participants all along the way, including books, critiques, gift cards and Ruby-inspired gifts. And it’s FREE!

Unlike NaNoWriMo and other writing challenges that have a one-size-fits-all approach, the Ruby Winter Writing Festival is designed for you by busy, hard-working women: i.e., we schedule it for AFTER the holidays, and we let you DESIGN YOUR OWN approach to “winning” so it actually fits in with your real life

No matter what stage you’re at right now (brainstorming, plotting, free-writing, fast-drafting, slow-drafting, revising, layering, polishing…or any combination of the above) the Ruby Winter Writing Festival can help you reach your goals.

Did I mention SPRINTS! Yes, I did! Regular sprints are held in our cozy RUBY CHAT ROOM.

Get more detailed details at the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood blog.

Check out the great advice for a successful Winter Writing Festival at the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood’s Blog here.  Or better still, bookmark the Ruby Slippered-Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival website!

 


2017 RWA Orlando in Pictures

August 2, 2017

Did you miss us? Sure you did!

The Romance Writers of America conference was held at Disney’s Mariott Swan and Dolphin last week. Naturally, it was an opportunity to take the kiddos on a magical vacation. So I came to town five days earlier, building memories. Nine to twelve hour days for three days at the Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and the Magic Kingdom. My feet were screaming for mercy before the conference even started. Still, the awe and wonderment in my youngest daughter’s eyes when she met her favorite Disney characters, the laughter and squeals of my oldest daughter as we rode coasters, and the speed at which my hubby whipped out his camera to take pictures of Storm Troopers marching through the park made it all well worth it. Most definitely a vacation to cherish.

After the fam returned home, I stayed behind for the second leg on my Florida stay. I can’t say I was disappointed. How could I be? Workshops, education, networking, inspirational keynote speakers, meeting new friends, hugging old friends, yummy cocktails, and dancing—it was all so wonderful! See for yourself.

Arriving gives me the giggles.

We start off the conference with Level Up workshops on Wednesday. Stacey and I took a Master Class and an Indie Track class, each lasting 2 hours and each chock full of great information.

Intensive Workshop with Mark Dawson.

Another great workshop with Roxanne St. Claire and Kristen Painter.

Thursday was filled with more workshops, book signings, the Golden Heart luncheon, and the Rita Awards. Avon Books sponsored a dance party following the Rita ceremony. Dancing, drinking, laughing, nonsense ensued. It’s not a party until you break your favorite pair of kitten heels.

The Golden Heart luncheon with our friends from our local chapter, Northwest Houston. Amazing ladies, they are.

Posing with our superstar sister and Rita finalist, Sarah Andre.

Dancing the night away!

Drinks while strutting to the music with Rita finalist and fellow Ruby sister, Vivi Andrews.

Fun with friends Chloe, Eliza, & Ruth. Pics were taken for prosperity, of course.

Friday ushered in tired feet, more workshops, the trade show, networking, an impromptu podcast, another luncheon, RWA’s AGM, and volunteering to set up the literacy signing event.

This was just the beginning of getting the massive event set up. Even better when you have friends like Becca St. John (who took this pic) toiling away with you.

Throughout the conference, there were so many opportunities to meet new friends, catch up with old pals, finally meet online buddies, and make connections, usually with a nice relaxing cocktail.

One of my newest friends, my kindred spirit and fellow pirate wench, Chloe Flowers.

Finally meeting in person after being friends for years, Pam Stack, executive producer of Author on the Air Global Radio Network.

Are we ever serious? No…not really.

Stacey chilled with a (literally) smoking drink.

Saturday brought in, you guessed it, more workshops, the leadership breakfast, posing for a new author photo, the literacy signing, and a special book launch for one of my all-time favorite authors, Sherrilyn Kenyon.

2017 Readers For Life Literacy Autographing!

Stacey and Jami, beautiful ladies with beautiful smiles, showing us how it is done!

Lark and I were ready to sell out!

Girl crushing on Sherrilyn Kenyon. What a great way to end the week!

Last night at the Dolphin. So pretty!

No conference trip is complete without the TSA rummaging through my (locked) suitcase. Again.

Musetracks had a great time in Florida. Next year…Denver, Colorado. I can’t wait to see what’s in store.


Link Of The Week- A Place For Creatives

May 3, 2016

This is a place for creatives! They will send you free images you can use every week, send out writing prompts, or be an inspiration to other photographers. Get your muse on and check this place out!

dts-logo1

 

http://deathtothestockphoto.com/about/


Link of the Week – Open Culture and Stephen King

May 13, 2014

stephen-kingThis week’s link is to an interview  by Open Culture, a “cultural and educational” site, with the great Stephen King. is for all writers of any genre. Whether just starting out or a seasoned pro, you’ll want the twenty gems from Stephen King. When he speaks, I listen. Mostly because he is so relatable, like a mentor, like a friend. Be inspired!

http://www.openculture.com/2014/03/stephen-kings-top-20-rules-for-writers.html


Link Of The Week- Get Your Muse On!

February 18, 2014

creativity

What do you do with the blank screen? How do you get around the….blankness of it all? Well, here’s a whole slew of artists from different walks of life sharing their secrets on how to get past this stumbling block.

http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2012/jan/02/top-artists-creative-inspiration

CREATIVITY


Link of the Week – Winter Writing Festival

January 7, 2014

rss_winterfestival-badge1Craving some serious writing productivity this winter? Need to clean up the mess you left in the second half of your Golden Heart full entry? Want to finally, finally fix that pesky plot hole in your WIP? The Rubies have your back!

Through the bleakest part of winter–January 10, 2013 thru the end of February–the much-anticipated Third Annual Ruby Winter Writing Festival will be here to keep your creative fires burning, with support, advice, inspiration, frequent live chats, fun prizes for participants, and as much virtual hot-chocolate (or virtual champagne or virtual cookies) as you please. ‘Cause nobody’s Muse can resist a party!

Read more HERE!

Get ready for the Festival and read goal-setting advice HERE!


It’s Editor Shop Pitch Day!

December 14, 2013

GO!!!

 

Good luck to everyone pitching today.

Don’t forget to read the rules. I’d hate to delete pitches during the holiday season!

Wait until I update the page with a bog green GO at the top of this post. I’m working again this weekend, so I’ll try to post the update as close to 10:00 am EST as I can.

And now I’d like to introduce our guest author. He’s an author with Entangled and I can’t wait to read this! Asalways, my TBR read pile will get a few new layers this holiday.:)

cover

Parts and Wreck

Wade Crowson, a brutish and brooding playboy and veteran vivisectionist for the Parts Department, runs into more than he bargained for in new partner, Lucid Montgomery, a quirky beauty with a bizarre secret and a string of psychiatric diagnoses she tries hard to keep hidden. Loving Luce will stamp a demonic target on her back and thrust Wade into a frenzied whirlwind of hilarious misunderstandings and, quite possibly, a stripping gig for emptynesters. Can they withstand the savagery of an exorcism (with or without the split pea soup) and come out alive and …in love?

You can buy Parts and Wreck here:

Amazon

B&N

Kobo

iTunes

And you can find Mark here:

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

YouTube

Here are a few reviews!

K. April Holgate

Haunted One

Shoe Junkie

And as a little bonus, here is what Candace is currently looking for:

Covet: Category paranormal romances with more romance than paranormal
elements. The focus should be the development of the relationship. We
like them funny and we like dark, and all points in between. Should be
between 55-65k

Edge and Select: We accept all genres on these lines, as long as there a
strong romance in the book with a happily ever after, or at least a
happy for now. That said… I’m on the hunt right now for single-title
contemporary romances. Think Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jennifer Cruise
or Lori Foster. I’d also like to see some strong paranormal romances
along the lines of Sherrilyn Kenyon or Nalini Singh. If you have a
series, each book must be stand alone with a different couple in each
book. I’d also like to see some good mysteries with strong romantic
elements.

Have a wonderful day everyone! And good luck.

Candi


It’s Editor Shopping Day!

November 17, 2013

UPDATE: Karen emailed. She requested 6 FULLS! I’ve sent emails to all the lucky pitchers, so check your inboxes!

 

Good Morning All!

And welcome to another round of Editor Shop.

This was an interesting pitch session. Here’s why. It was the first time I had to screen for genre specific pitches, beyond romance.

We’ll get the stats out of the way first as always.

Pitches received:44
Pitches accepted:18
Pitches rejcted: 26

  • 12 – Too long (One of these was by one word! Ugh.)
  • 8 – Not New Adult (And I varified this with the authors)
  • 4 – Missing information
  • 1 – No pitch
  • 1 – Spam

Now on to the pitches!

Please welcome Karen Grove. The launch of Entangled Publishing’s Embrace line is exciting. I love reading New Adult.

Thanks for visiting us today. If you see any pitches you like, please email me thepitch number, title, and what you’d like to see from the author. Happy shopping!

****

#1

There Was a Boy

New Adult Romance

98,000

They met under the worst circumstances imaginable…

One night when she was just twelve years old, Bliss Hartwell witnessed the murder of her father.

But she wasn’t alone that night. There was a boy there with her. A boy who held onto her and promised her that everything was going to be all right. A boy who got her through the worst possible night of her life. A boy who also happened to be the son of the killer.

But she never forgot him…

For nine years, Bliss has wondered about that boy, about what happened to him after that horrific night. Wondered, and secretly wished to see him again, to thank him for getting her through the worst night of her life. She even wrote him letters she knew would never be mailed to him, for living under the watchful eye of her mother – who treats her like a fragile doll one step away from breaking into pieces – gives her no opportunity to do so. But all that is about to change when Bliss enrolls in the same college as the boy. And Gideon Lennox has no idea what is about to hit him.

#2

No Place in Heaven

NA Fantasy

94,000

In an aerial peacekeeping guild where students are Blessed with supernatural abilities, eighteen-year-old Quinton Petronis remains Unhallowed. Turns out that if your crazy mother tried killing the Guild Father twelve years ago, you don’t qualify for his Blessing. Who would’ve thought?

When he’s finally assigned his first undercover mission, Quinton thinks his luck has changed. He joins the Guild’s best Silencer – assassin is such an unpleasant word – on a trip to the Deadlands below the clouds, where a rebel organization against the Father has taken root. Here’s Quinton’s chance to prove treason isn’t hereditary. He just hopes he’s granted some kickass abilities to help nip the rebellion in the bud.

But the people down here aren’t terrorists after all, the Father’s not the magnanimous leader the Guild paints him to be, and the “Blessing” Quinton’s granted is actually the worst curse he can imagine. A curse that, left unbroken, will turn him into the Father’s primary tool against the rebellion Quinton has come to support.

Looks like treason will have to run in the family, or the Father’s reign will overtake heaven and earth — not to mention Quinton’s identity — forever.

#3

‘The Lady in the Mist (The Western Werewolf Legend # 1)

Paranormal/western

45K

The Civil War took Sonja Brooks’ husband and left her alone. Unprotected and scared, she runs headlong into a life changing event when she’s attacked by a wolf. Her fate as a werewolf is sealed. When she stumbles upon Ty Loflin, a Rebel soldier dying of his wounds, she nurses him back to health. He’s the perfect mate, but will he want her once he knows the truth? Her blood made him a werewolf.  Now vampires, masquerading as Yankee soldiers, covet her blood because it allows them to walk in the sunlight. Ty and Sonja are destined as mates and must defend against the evil vampires who’ll do anything to get her blood.

#4

Above The Game
Literary Fiction
70,000 words

Eliot MacKenzie dreams of escaping his small New England town of Granite Harbor. Suddenly, there is no more dreaming, no escaping. Eliot MacKenzie is dead.

His life is over but not his tale. Over a several year period in the mid 1990’s, Eliot narrates a story of grief, anger, conflict, estrangement and resolution as family members struggle to deal with their loss.

Eliot’s abrupt death shatters the deceptive harmony of his family’s life. His twin brothers reaffirm their private bond, but each pursues a separate path out of the rage and confusion rising from the loss of their brother. Eliot’s mother contends with a second family crisis that not only provides escape, but also helps her deal with the death of her son. His father remains lost in the present and tied to the past as he indulges in one-sided conversations with his dead son. Eliot’s narrative follows his family members as they emerge from tragedy and anticipate futures beyond their small town and their fragmented family

Eliot alone remains above the game – a spectator, confined to Granite Harbor forever.

ABOVE THE GAME was shortlisted for the 2013 Faulkner Society Novel-In-Progress Award.

#5

Tell Me My Name

Romantic/Suspense

101,000

When twenty-four year old Reece Stewart regains consciousness in a small town emergency room, she discovers three critical things have happened that have altered her life forever. She doesn’t remember the bullets meant for her that killed her boss and co-worker, nor her dramatic kidnapping. She doesn’t even remember the car accident that occurred while trying to escape. She does remember that her first name is Reece, and that somebody wants her dead.

The hysterical emerald-eyed amnesiacs insistence that someone wants to kill her, has Dr. Rafe Haulster perplexed. Rafe’s indecision to believe Reece comes at a very high price when his nursing assistant is tortured, and killed, for information as to Reece’s whereabouts. The nursing assistant leaves a cryptic message for Rafe before dying; that the killer is coming for Reece, and Rafe needs to get her to safety. A deadly game of cat and mouse begins through the forests of the Grand Teton Mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love may not be enough to save them from their unknown killer; they fear the only chance of survival, and stopping a killer, may rest on the return of Reece’s memory.

#6

Deadly Magic

New Adult Paranormal Romance

83,000

Vin Archer, a power-hungry vampire, seeks to be an Infinitis, a vampire-witch hybrid believed to be extinct. Indestructible, with magical abilities, the Infinitis make other creatures fall to their knees, begging for mercy. To become an Infinitis, Vin must drain a powerful witch and bind her essence to him. He even has a witch in mind, Lexi Brighton, but Vin’s rival, Connor Weatherstar, threatens his plan.

Lexi has no knowledge of vampires or her Wiccan heritage. She isn’t looking for love, but Vin has a hypnotic effect on her, and she can’t shake her need for him. As their relationship evolves, peculiar things happen. She rationalizes everything, until Vin reveals he’s a vampire, then betrays her, inverting her world and nearly making her favorite place her grave. But Connor saves her.

Lexi has been drawn to Connor since the day they met, but after learning he’s also a vampire, her feelings become uncertain. But Connor’s kind-heartedness earns her affection. Vin won’t stop until he possesses Lexi, and Connor will do anything to protect her. If Lexi is to hold on to Connor, she must acknowledge her Wiccan heritage and fight to save the one she loves, or lose everything.

#7

Kilt Over

NA Historical Paranormal Romance

10K (part 1 of 3 in a series)

Totally broke college student, Brenna Sweetwater inherits a vintage clothing store from her great aunt in Scotland.  Having survived a recent series of bad luck experiences, she hopes that this new business venture will be just the change of luck that she’s been searching for.

When she tries on an old Scottish kilt that she finds hidden away in the back of the store, she unwittingly opens a portal to ancient Scotland.  After falling through the portal, she awakens to find herself in the chambers of one sexy…naked Scot!

What happens when a twenty first century shop girl is transported to the sixteenth century Highlands on Christmas Eve?  Will her holiday season be ruined?  Or will this be the Christmas blessing that she’s been dreaming of?

#8

The Fairy Godmother’s Rulebook

New Adult w/ Paranormal Elements

85,000

“Being a fairy godmother isn’t all ‘bibbidi bobbidi boo,'” according to Aviana Willowbrook. “It’s hard work, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. We don’t handle cash, jewelry, real estate or revenge, and we can’t get you or your mother a date with Ryan Gosling.”

Aviana is an underachiever struggling to find her way in the world until her 25th birthday when she learns that she’s the last of an ancient family of fairy godmothers.  Aviana thinks she’s found her purpose helping people find their Happily Ever After until she falls in love with a man destined to be someone else’s Prince Charming.

Aviana’s story is about finding yourself and the courage to be true to who you really are. Will she follow the rules and use her fairy godmother magic to make someone else’s dreams come true, or will she break the rules and use her magic to win the man of her dreams? And if the man of her dreams falls in love with her, is it just a bit of fairy magic? Or is it true love that will last forever?

#9

The Dead Days Journal

Dark Urban Fantasy

81,400

The end of the world is a blessing for Vincent Marrok, a Doomsday prepper prepared for the worst Mother Nature has to offer. Vincent’s family, along with several other survivors, are alive because of him. Together they form a strong family unit, the kind needed to survive mankind’s extinction.

Twenty-two year-old Leo Marrok understands survival is everything in a post-apocalyptic world. She will do whatever she can to protect her home and family, until her father orders her to do the unthinkable. Fearing for her safety, Leo flees, but does not get far when a blood-thirsty creature that was only rumored to exist takes her prisoner.

When Leo learns her home is under attack by a ravenous Horde, she escapes captivity. On her own, the odds are insurmountable. Leo lacks the power to save her family. However, there is one viable option: her recent captor. Leo’s courage and strength will be tested when her uneasy alliance with the one she calls “Halloween” results in alienation from the people she is trying to save. In the end, Leo must decide who the real danger is to her family — the hungry beast outside their door, or the father she always trusted.

#10

The Found Girl

Contemporary paranormal romance

100,000

Jonas Kavanagh’s life was predetermined.

One day he will be king to a magical elf kingdom and he will also be the first in the royal line to take a human as queen. Only two complications stand in his way. First, the human woman fated to be this queen doesn’t believe in love, magic or even the prediction. Second, and far more difficult to overcome, the person assigned the task of finding this human wants nothing more than see Jonas joined with someone else and he possesses enough power to accomplish this.

Alvina McKellen’s life has been one loss after another. Orphaned and unwanted by relatives forced to care for her, then framed by a man who said he loved her, she seeks a new life far from where she began. She sure never expected that new life to involve a frightening man with strange abilities and an unexpected marriage to a supposed king.

Together, a reluctant elf king and a lost girl find passion, love and their destiny together, something not even the most powerful magic of one who would tear them apart can destroy.

#11

Urquhart Plight

Paranormal Romance/Sci Fiction

103,987

“Alice is the key to set Nessie free. From loch Ness comes the tale of hope, love and a girls need to save her true love. The Urquhart Plight has been coming for thousands of years and Alice could end it all.”

#12

Switch

Dystopian New Adult

78,000

Becoming a soldier to protect her nation from rebels isn’t the way twenty-year-old Allesra92 expected to spend her birthday. Heck, she’s as far from a kick-ass heroine as she can get. So acting like a soldier while posing as her twin brother borders insanity. But she’ll do anything to keep her mentally challenged brother out of Asylum – a place where those who aren’t ‘normal’ are sent and never return.

Pretending to be part of the male fart-belch-fight club is a piece of cake compared to finding out her entire nation is nothing more than a higher government’s biological testing dome. Outside the dome isn’t much better when a rebel attack places her under the control of a bipolar(ish) rebel leader who wants to sacrifice her and her brother to the authorities to further his own cause.

And the government wants her brother – badly. Enough that anyone she comes in contact with becomes a target as well, and she’s faced with the ultimate decision between her brother’s safety and the freedom of a nation. With rebels who lie, authorities who kill, and a handsome rebel she doesn’t want to like, any direction she chooses looks like a deadly end.

#13

Marie’s World

Contemporary Romance/Drama

75,957

“Exposed and with no where turn. Marie must face the aftermath of her sister exposing her secrets to the world. Lies, betrayals, dance and the past are about to collide, will Marie find a way to survive.”

#14

Norse Gods Immortals: Carla

103,585

“Carla was a normal girl, now she is one of the Norse Gods Immortals. She must fight for her

life or lose all those she cares about.”

#15

A Heart Trapped Inside A Highlander

Timetravel/Paranormal

40,566

“Born in the wrong time, thrown back to the right time. Adrian was about to get his first love,

only she isn’t like any other woman he’s ever met and he can’t let her die.”

#16

Winning the Player

New Adult/ Contemporary Romance/Sport

82,200

Aubree Taylor has spent the past two years travelling overseas after an injury obliterated any hope of playing basketball for Australia. Growing up Aubree felt like a freak being tall and athletic, taunted for her tomboy ways. Basketball was her resolve, and fleeing her way of coping with the disappointment.

Returning to Adelaide she bumps into Hunter Stone, star Australian Rules football player, her best-friend’s cousin, and the guy she ran out on the night before her flight overseas.

Twenty-five year old Hunter is famous, for his ability as a player on and off the field, which is why Aubree ran. Her gut tells her she should run now.

Bitter about life and the cards dealt to her, a relationship with Hunter is the furthest thing from her mind.

Yet after dinner dates, hiking in the hills, and unexpected intimacy, Aubree uncovers another side other than the arrogant footballer. She lowers her guard and begins to trust him, despite his past that keeps rearing its ugly head in the form of jealous girls who didn’t run from his bed like Aubree. To feel special again, Aubree must open her heart and take a chance on life and love.

#17

All or Nothing

New Adult

89,900

Chase Embry had it all. A full boat scholarship, a girlfriend every guy wanted, and an epic inheritance.

That was before one night of partying. One night that ended when he crashed his car, killed his girlfriend, and ran from the only life he’d ever known.

Losing himself in New York City, Chase finds out how easy he’d had it, how hard others have it, and how hard it is to go back and set things right.

#18

I Am The Bigot

New Adult

72,000

Twenty year old Dawslyn’s Sociology project starts out fun. She’s supposed to study human behavior, reactions, and outcomes when her ‘subjects’ are faced with a difficult topic.

She could have settled for abortion, politics, or war, but when a public service announcement about racism catches her attention, she knows what her topic will be.

Setting up twelve different websites, each that portrays a group working to help only a certain race, Dawslyn starts sending out emails as advertisement and keeps open chat boards for each site.

At first the data is great. But as more and more people find out about the sites, tempers flare, public figures start taking sides, and the campus is rocked by a division in reactions, Dawslyn’s identity is revealed.

Now she has to defend her beliefs, her project, and the fact that she’s been labeled a bigot.


It’s Pitch Day at Editor Shop with Karen Grove of Entangled Publishing.

November 13, 2013

Good Morning and welcome to another round of Editor Shop.

Make sure you follow the rules for pitching. You can find all the details under the Editor/Agent Shop tab above.

Good Luck!

GO!

We have the awesome Karen Grove with Entangled Publishing as our guest Editor, and she coming with a BANG!

Entangled just launched it’s New Adult line Embrace, and they’re doing a mega give-a-way! Here is the link to the Embrace Launch Giveaway. It is open to everyone (whether you’re pitching or not) and it will run through the end of the month:

http://www.entangledinromance.com/2013/11/11/10365/

They’re giving away a Kindle Fire, an iPod Shuffle, and a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card.

And even more… Entangled is doing something special for some of our ‘pitchers’. They’ll be giving away some advance reading e-galleys of Embrace’s upcoming December releases!

• Forged by Fate by Reese Monroe (NA paranormal)

• Sneaking Candy by Lisa Burstein (NA contemporary romance)

• Ruined by Jus Accardo (NA paranormal)

*FROM KAREN: [Please note that these are early peeks at upcoming books, and they may have errors in them as galleys are made from uncorrected proofs…but a few tiny errors are worth getting a first look, aren’t they?]

AWESOME!

And here’s some information about what Karen is looking for:
Embrace is seeking fresh, strong voices that capture the emotions and complexities of characters straddling the line between high school and the adult world of work and family. Our ideal protagonists are from 18-24 years old; these characters are legally adults but are still finding their way to adulthood, separating from their parents, heading off to college, experiencing full-time employment, searching for love, and even beginning families. For these characters, it’s a time of experimentation and metamorphosis. Embrace novels are digital first and priced from $2.99 – $4.99.
At Entangled, we believe New Adult is an extension of Young Adult fiction—dealing with many of the same issues of identity and exploration but with a more focused perspective toward breaking away from parental supervision and the impending responsibility that goes with adulthood. We are looking for books told from the point of view of the emerging adult, defining a critical period of decision making and growth. There should be an element of romance in every Embrace title, though it does not need to be the main focus of the story.

Entangled New Adult publishes across genres, and we are looking for engaging voice and bold, fresh stories in
• Contemporary
• Romance
• Mystery
• Suspense/Thrillers
• Historical
• Fantasy
• Science fiction
• Paranormal

And here’s a bit about Karen!

SONY DSC

Karen Grove, Editorial Director of Embrace (New Adult) and Senior Editor

Karen Grove has been an editor for 28 years, working with authors at Harcourt and then Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, concentrating in young adult fiction. She has worked with such prestigious authors as Han Nolan, Carol Plum-Ucci, L. A. Meyer, Ann Rinaldi, Adele Geras, Kathryn Reiss, Gary Paulsen, and New York Times bestselling author Susan Beth Pfeffer. The majority of her books have earned starred reviews from major review journals and such prestigious awards as the National Book Award, Michael L. Printz Honor, multiple Edgar Allen Poe Awards (Mystery Writers of America), and a RITA Award (Romance Writers of America). In addition to her editing, she owned and operated a local business newspaper for 10 years. She resides in Southern California with her husband and college-age son.

Karen looks for stories with quirky characters, compelling voices (even snarky ones, if there’s heart behind it), and settings that are so strong they become characters themselves. She adores small-town and Southern novels, with their strong sense of community and personal relationships, as well as stories with deeply flawed characters that she can both love and hate. Karen reads across a wide range of genres and enjoys gritty contemporaries, dark urban fantasy, apocalyptic stories, suspense/thrillers, mystery, romance, and tales that contain elements of the supernatural as well as sports (hockey, soccer, football, equestrian)—though maybe not together. Although Karen edits both Adult romantic fiction and YA, she is especially interested in stories that feature protagonists grappling with life after high school…those 18-24 year olds embarking on their first foray into independence. The only topics that don’t particular interest her are high fantasy (she prefers her fantasy to be firmly grounded in the real world) and deeply rooted science fiction. No matter what the age group or genre, Karen wants a story to move her—to make her laugh, cry, tense in fear, or cause her to think in some way she hasn’t considered before.

Good luck everyone!

I’ll see you Saturday morning around 10:00am E.S.T. Wait until you see me post the word GO!

Happy reading and writing.

~Candi


Pitch Day at Musetracks is Sept 21st and we welcome Jill Marsal!

September 20, 2013

STOP!

As much as I hate to stop before I have 30 viable pitches (27 viable pitches so far)… I needs sleep.

I’ll post the pitches that made it through in the morning! Good luck!

Welcome to another pitch session at Musetracks.

We have the awesome Jill Marsal with Marsal Lyon Literary Agency as our guest agent. You can find out more about her HERE.

Remember to wait for the word GO to be updated in big green letters (at 10:00 AM EST) at the top of this post BEFORE you send your pitch in to me @ candi_agent_shop (at) yahoo (dot) com. I’m posting this tonight, because I have to work tomorrow, and will have little time to update the blog in the morning.

For now, please welcome two of Jill’s authors with their new or soon-to-be released novels…

AUTUMN IN THE VINEYARD by Marina Adair

adair- Autumn at the Vineyard

Blurb:
Frankie Baudouin has a hundred reasons not to trust Nate DeLuca. First, he’s a DeLuca. Second, he kissed her—in front of the entire town—and then never called. Oh, and he’s after her land. Sorrento Ranch is Frankie’s last chance to prove to her family—and to herself—that she has what it takes to be an award-winning winemaker. And she will stop at nothing to ensure her success—even if it means playing nice with the starched, sophisticated, and oh-so-sexy Italian.

For Nate, Sorrento Ranch is more than just soil and grape vines; it was his father’s dream—a dream Nate is determined to make a reality. So when he finds himself forced to cohabitate with a hot-headed, irrational, and incredibly gorgeous Baudouin, Nate is surprised to discover that chaos could be so much fun—especially when she sleeps in nothing but lace.

Excerpt

It had taken three years, some tricky negotiating, her entire life savings, and a lot of ball busting—but Francesca Baudouin was finally a vineyard owner. Well, she was the owner of ten acres of prime St. Helena appellation soil, which would take another five years of sweat and, quite possibly, selling off a few of her vital organs before it fully became a quality producing vineyard.

But Sorrento Ranch, the most sought after property in the valley, and all of its belongings, was hers. She bought it right out from under the DeLucas’ noses. In part because the owner, Mrs. Sorrento, had played darts with Frankie and Frankie’s great aunt every Friday night for the past fifteen years, so her loyalties were clear, but mostly because Mrs. Sorrento knew that selling the land to either family involved in the great DeLuca-Baudouin feud would piss off her ex-husband.

“One more inch and I’ll shoot,” Frankie said to the alpaca in front of her, a four-legged garbage disposal whose mouth was currently wrapped around the plastic casing of the water tank. She stomped her ball-busting, steeled-toed combat boot in his direction for added emphasis.

The alpaca’s beady eyes narrowed and dropped to her feet. Extending its lips in her direction, he made a loud raspberry sound, stomped an aggressive hoof and then went back to nibbling. Yeah, ball-buster or not, hooves beat boots.

But Frankie wasn’t about to let some hardheaded alpaca with shaggy hair and buck teeth stick it to her on her first week in business. Being the youngest of four, and the only girl, Frankie was a pro at dealing with stubborn males who excelled at ignoring her completely, while messing with her life wholeheartedly.

She cocked her rifle.

“The only thing separating you from becoming a pair of next season’s mittens is my trigger finger, Camel Boy.” Because the only thing separating them from ten-thousand gallons of well water was the thin plastic seam-binding on the water tank, which “Mittens” had managed to chew loose. She didn’t want to deal with the cleanup and couldn’t afford a new irrigation tank. “I mean it, one more bite and the only identifying male trait you’ll have left is stupidity.”

That got his attention. In fact, the animal straightened and fluffed out the fur around his face, making him look like a cross between a camel, a koala, and Clifford the Big Red Dog. When he wasn’t destroying her property, he was kind of cute. In a big, dumb, oafy kind of way.

Mittens was the sole remaining alpaca from Mrs. Sorrento’s farm. The rest of his hooved brethren were living it up at Alberta’s Paradise Alpaca Farm and Pet Sanctuary. Mittens hadn’t even set one hoof in the back of the moving truck when the rest of the heard gathered their spit and took aim. Poor Mittens had been kicked out of his own family and before Frankie or Alberta had been able to catch him, his fluffy-butt disappeared, and Alberta had left instructions to call when Frankie secured the runaway. That had been four days, two patio chairs, and a motorcycle tire ago.

“See.” Frankie lowered her rifle to the ground, picking up the cushion from Mr. Sorrento’s old recliner in one hand and a rope in the other. “That wasn’t so bad. Now just come over here and I’ll give you a treat.”

Eyes glued to the nubby avocado-green cushion, the alpaca took a tentative step forward.

“Then you can go to your new house.” Another step. “Where they feed you gourmet hay and mud tires, and there are kids around all the time to play with you.” Step. “And you’ll get to see your family.”

The alpaca stopped, squared its body, and let out an ear-piercing bleat, which sounded like a cross between “wark” and Chewbacca screaming, right before he sank his teeth in the plastic casing and pulled. Hard.

“Mittens!”

“Wark!”

“No—”

The tank split at the seam and before either could move, a wall of water came crashing out with enough force to topple Mittens into Frankie and send the two of them skidding back several feet.

When Frankie stopped moving and the water had receded into a pool of mud, she shoved the hair out of her eyes and took stock. She was flat on her back, with a stick poking into her right butt cheek and a drenched Mittens sprawled out over the top of her.

“Move.” She shoved at the animal.

“Wark-wark!”

“I warned you! But did you listen?”

Mittens let out an apologetic nicker and dropped his head to Frankie’s chest, his big brown eyes looking up at her through long lashes.

“You could be half way to Paradise right now,” she said, giving him a little rub behind the ears. “Just think, in a few months it will be grooming season and all the ladies will be prancing around in nothing but sheered skin. Plus, you’ll have your family.”

This time the nicker was almost sad so Frankie, ignoring that he smelled like wet dog, called a temporary truce and dug both hands in his thick fur to scratch his cheeks. “Yeah, I get it. Family sucks, but I can’t let you stay here. Come spring, I’ll start planting my vines and you’d eat them.”

Mittens huffed, a burst of hot air hitting Frankie in the face.

“Liar.” She worked her fingers around his temples and behind his ears. The animal’s eyes slid closed in ecstasy. “You already cost me a water tank, which I can’t afford to replace by the way.”

His only response was to nuzzle Frankie’s chest and hum loudly.

“So, there is no way I have the budget to keep replacing everything you decide to sink your teeth into.”

Hum. Hum. Hum.

“I hope he bought you dinner first,” a voice said.

With a groan, Frankie turned her head and, wishing she were standing so she could glare at him without having to shield her eyes, swore. Upside down or not, there was no mistaking the man who was currently towering over her—or the way her stomach gave a lame little flutter when he lifted his mirrored glasses and delivered a heart-stopping wink.

“Afternoon, Francesca,” he said with enough practiced swagger that it made not rolling her eyes impossible.

Nathaniel DeLuca was six-plus feet of solid muscle, smug-male yumminess and he smelled like sex. He was also extremely Italian, annoying as hell and, for whatever reason, every time he entered Frankie’s space she felt all dainty and feminine. Which pissed her off even more because at one time she’d trusted Nate with her heart and a promise of keeping her deepest secret.

And he’d broken them both.

Thank God she had on her ball-buster boots today. Too bad they were currently covered in mud, alpaca fur, and pointing at the sky.

“Go away, Nathaniel,” she said by way of greeting.

Mittens hummed louder, arching into her hand as Frankie scratched down his spine.

“And leave a lady in need?” Nate asked, coming forward and squatting down to pluck a maple leaf off of Frankie’s forehead. “Nonna ChiChi would have my ass.”

“I know you’re used to your women poised and proper. But I’ve got this handled.”

“I didn’t know you paid that much attention to my women, but now that you mentioned the difference…” He plucked a branch from her hair and flashed his perfectly straight teeth in her face. His smile, like his personality, was lethal and his entitled attitude was one-hundred percent DeLuca. “That’s great,” he continued, “because I won’t have to worry that you’ll cry when I tell you to stop exciting my alpaca and get the hell off my property.”

You can find Autumn in the Vineyard here:

AMAZON
B&N

*** The author will give away a signed paperback to a US or Canada resident when they come in!***

AND!

TARGETED by Katie Reus

reus- targeted (1)

Blurb

Hidden in plain sight…

Former Marine sniper and current NSA agent Jack Stone has a new face to go with his new identity. But he still has the same tortured memories—which include the woman he let get away years ago, when they were teenagers. Now his new assignment in Miami will put him so close to the woman he’s never been able to forget, he could reach out and touch her—if only she weren’t under suspicion.

When Sophie Moreno uncovers evidence linking the medical supply company she works for with arms smuggling—and worse—she doesn’t know who to turn to. After a shocking betrayal, she realizes the only person she can trust is a mysterious new person in the company—a man with hauntingly familiar eyes.

As Sophie questions her intense attraction to this man and Jack struggles not to blow his cover, the two of them must race against the clock to stop terrorists from killing scores of people—starting with them.

Excerpt

“Good morning, Sophie.” Ronald gave her a tired smile as he looked up from his desk. Deep lines etched the grooves around his mouth.
There was no one in his office, so whoever they were meeting with must have stepped out. Which gave her the perfect opportunity to talk to her boss in private. “Ronald, we need to talk. Didn’t you get my calls last night?”

He shook his head, but the guilty flush spreading up his cheeks gave him away. Sophie reeled back as if slapped. He had been ignoring her. What the hell? She gritted her teeth, quickly moving past the hurt. “I discovered something . . . important.” She nearly snorted at that understatement.

His face paled. “Can it wait?”

“No, it can’t.” As she stared at the man in front of her, she tried to find the right words to just come out and say what she’d found. Something about his expression was just off. He looked almost haggard, so unlike the man she’d come to love and trust. She’d been twenty-two and right out of college when he’d given her a job. Not to mention that the company had paid for her master’s degree. She didn’t have any family and he’d always been like a father figure to her. Anyone would have been better than the asshole foster fathers she’d endured over the years, but Ronald was truly kind. Even with the panic humming through her, seeing him this way pulled at her heartstrings.

Ronald sighed and his eyes flashed with something she couldn’t define. Pain? “We’ll talk, but not here. Just wait—”

He abruptly stopped talking and his gaze trailed over her shoulder at the sound of the door opening. Sophie shifted in her seat and glanced behind her.

She blinked once as she made eye contact with the stranger entering the room. Staring into those eyes made her feel as if she’d been punched in the stomach. A raw sort of awareness stirred inside her, making her throat tighten and somewhere a lot lower heat up completely against her will. Mandy’s description of “yummy” was so very incorrect. A cupcake was yummy. This man was like a decadent triple-chocolate truffle cake with chocolate shavings sprinkled on top. Considering the crap she needed to deal with, noticing someone in such a sexual way—someone she clearly couldn’t trust—was beyond stupid. And definitely not like her. Only one man had ever had this raw effect on her. Though he hadn’t been quite a man. He’d been growing into a very handsome one and—damn it. She shook herself, trying to squash this strange sexual awareness that had erupted inside her.

Here are some review links & quotes:

“Nonstop action, a solid plot, good pacing and riveting suspense…” —RT Book Reviews (4.5 Stars)

“Fast paced romantic suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat!” —New York Times bestselling author, Cynthia Eden

“Sexy suspense at its finest!” —New York Times bestselling author, Laura Wright

“Fast paced romantic suspense, action packed, brimming with sexual tension.” —Lea, HEA USA Today blog

“…this is what romantic suspense is all about.” —Amy, So Many Reads Book Blog

Publisher’s Weekly Review- http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-451-41921-7

Here’s where you can find Targeted:
Amazon

BN

Kobo

iTunes

Book Depository

Find Katie here!
http://www.katiereus.com
http://www.facebook.com/katiereusauthor
https://twitter.com/katiereus

And here’s some great giveaway info!

* I’m giving away two signed copies at Goodreads, ends 10/1: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17707657-targeted

*I’m also doing a 2 week blog tour and NAL is giving away books at each stop. Virtual tour info here: http://events.litconnect.com/romantic-suspense-virtual-tour-targeted-by-katie-reus/

*Twitter party on release day: http://events.litconnect.com/twitter-party-targeted-by-katiereus-romantic-suspense/

*FB Party event all day 10/3 with book giveaways: https://www.facebook.com/events/219549264870772/

Okay, so now I have two more awesome sounding reads to add to my TBR pile!

For fun, let’s do a competition for the top pitch slot, the signed copy of Autumn, and I’ll giveaway a copy of my new release What She was Missing as well.

All you have to do is leave a comment using the words Autumn AND Targeted.

Good luck to everyone pitching!

Candi