Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Apollo Academy Gets A New Cover!

Guys!

The fabulous people at Escape, Harlequin Australia have given THE APOLLO ACADEMY a new cover! 






It's so simple and empowering. A young, beautiful, and independent woman looking toward the stars....

THE APOLLO ACADEMY will be re-realesed February 2015. Add to your GoodReads here. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

ALL BROKE DOWN, Cora Carmack

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You know I love me some Cora Carmack. And she's done it again. ALL BROKE DOWN is the second book in her New Adult Contemporary series, Rusk University. I seriously don't know how this girl does it. She's written 7 best-selling books since our lives crossed paths two year ago. Not only has she done amazing things for me and The Apollo Academy, but she's an incredible author. So seriously go grab a copy of her latest masterpiece!


All Broke Down

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iTunes

About ALL BROKE DOWN: In this second book in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack’s New Adult, Texas-set Rusk University series, which began with All Lined Up, a young woman discovers that you can’t only fight for what you believe in . . . sometimes you have to fight for what you love. Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one. Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians—you name it, she’s probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He’s in for a different kind of fighting. And though he’s arrogant and infuriating, she can’t help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause. Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it’s trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He’s met girls like her before—fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn’t think he’s broken, and he definitely doesn’t need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about, his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help. Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all. ABD Teaser 1  
Excerpt: I think I get it then. That decision I saw in her eyes back in the kitchen. That’s what this, what I’m about for her, too. I’m just another part of whatever rebellion she started earlier today. About doing what she wants, not what’s expected of her. “We’re not talking about me, though,” she says. “So you went to meet your friend, and then what happened?” She keeps her eyes down as she picks up the gauze and begins winding it snugly around the knuckles of one hand, and then the other. “He said the wrong thing.” “Which was?” “Dylan.” Now it’s her that’s pushing too hard. I didn’t want to talk about things with my friends, and I won’t talk about them with her, either, no matter how gorgeous she is. “I’ll guess. You were mad about what he did, and he wasn’t sorry.” “This isn’t middle school, Pickle. He didn’t hurt my feelings. He said some shit he had no business saying, and it pissed me off. The end.” “But you don’t think some of that anger stems from what you feel is a betrayal of your friendship?” She finishes taping down the last of the gauze, but doesn’t let go of my hand. “I think you’re analyzing me again. Making things more complicated than they are.” “And I think you’re just a guy who doesn’t like to admit he has feelings.” She drags out the word, teasing me with some goofy smile on her face. I turn my hand over so I can clutch her wrist. I curlmy other bandaged hand around her waist and pull her closer. “I feel plenty of things.” The teasing stops. She swallows. “I wasn’t talking about that kind of feeling.” With her standing and me sitting, I’m eye level with her chest. I see the sharp rise and fall as she sucks in a breath. I want her in my lap again, straddling me this time. “Doesn’t mean we can’t talk about that kind of feeling. Or experiment with it.” “Is that Stella girl an ex?” I cough, surprised. My throat twists uncomfortably, and it takes me a couple of solid breaths to get a hold on myself. “Ah, no. Stella and I have never dated.” “Have you—” “Do you ever run out of questions?” “Not ever.” She turns playful again, and I’m done doing this the careful way. If she wants a rebellion, I’ll be the one to give it to her. I want her against me, and I’m tired of waiting. I pull her forward, insinuating my knees between hers, and her body naturally follows, settling across my thighs. Her lips part, but she catches herself before she gasps this time. I keep her steady with my hands at her waist and say, “I’ll make you a deal. A question for a kiss.” Tentatively, she lays her palms against my shoulders. They rest there, her grip light and casual. She ponders my offer for a moment, and it drives me mad that she can do that while our hips are inches away from alignment. “Okay then. Are you—” I cut her off. “Not so fast, Dylan Brenner. I’ve already answered one question. We’ve got to settle up first.” I wrap her braid around my hand like I’ve been waiting to do all night, and I use it to pull her head back just enough that I can crush my mouth against hers.

And don’t forget to grab your copy of ALL LINED UP Today!

All Lined Up

Amazon ** Barnes & Noble ** iTunes

HeadshotAbout Cora Carmack: Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.      

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Author Goodreads ** ALL BROKE DOWN Goodreads

 
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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Top 10

I was nominated by a dear friend of mine to list my top 10 most influential/favorite books on FaceBook. I thought it might be a fun blog post, so I’m listing them all here too! :)

1.) Clan of the Cave Bears by Jean M. Auel. I first read this book as a freshman in high school and it has stuck with me ever since. It’s also the first book in a terrific series.

2.) The entire Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. I’m not sure there’s any explantation needed here! 

3.) Poison Princess by Kresley Cole. I am so in love with this book—awesome writing, great voice, unique plot, and a slew of  great characters to fall in love with. 

4.) Mars by Ben Bova. One of the first science fictions books I ever fell in love with. An incredibly believable story in which we follow a crew on their perilous journey to Mars. 

5.) The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey-the most recent science fiction novel I fell in love with. Unbelievable writing and voice! 

6.) Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Gotta love the classics! 

7.) Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. A terrific high fantasy novel with fighting, magic, and forbidden love.  

8.) Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. I read this series in High School and all I can say is that even though it’s clearly fiction, it still really made me think; about my life, about the choices I would make in the MC’s situation, and it even pushed me to learn more about my religion. 

9.) The Demon King series by Cinda Williams Chima. I read this while writing The Apollo Academy and I remember thinking this is how I want to write. Great dual POV fantasy novel. 

10.) King Cave by Scarlett Dawn. An action packed book that I highly recommend. But the most special thing about it…. it lead me to my new publisher. :) 

Only listing 10 seems so unfair. There are a ton of books that have impacted me in some way! 

What are yours?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Apollo Academy Book Deal Details!

Hey Y’all!

So I promised ALL the details about my recent publishing announcement. If you missed it, Escape Publishing/Harlequin Australia, has picked up the rights to The Apollo Academy! For those of you who follow my blog regularly, you’ll know what a long process and turn about this announcement is for me.  After signing with an agent and receiving an offer, I decide that self publishing The Apollo Academy was the right direction for me. Because of that decision, I’ve been able to publish the book of my heart on my own schedule and retain total control and rights. Since making that decision, The Apollo Academy has hit the Amazon Science Fiction Romance BestSeller (In fact, it stayed there for over two months. Thank you!)  and has received an Honorable Mention Award from Writer’s Digest. 

So why then did I decide to sign a book deal? I certainly didn’t anticipate this change. While writing book 2 and continuing to market The Apollo Academy, I began to realize how lonely being an Indie author could really be. I didn’t plan to change any of that….until I kept stumbling across books (Scarlett Dawn Evermore Series for example) that I fell in love with. Books that were exactly what I wanted to read because they were a little bit of everything. Romance/Fantasy/Paranormal/Science Fiction. As an author I tend to notice who or how a book has been published.  After a few similar books, I  began to notice a pattern…..Escape Publishing. Intrigued I went to their website and was impressed with what I found. Escape felt so fitting for me and The Apollo Academy. They wanted books that couldn’t be defined to one genre. Books that broke boundaries. When I realized they accepted self published titles, I thought Why not?  What’s the worst that could happen? 

8 weeks later I received an offer. 

Now some of you may be wondering why I signed this contract and not the first one? The main reason…different contract, different experience, different wants, different editors/people. I won’t go into the details of the first offer I received, but I will say it wasn’t as favorable as the one I just signed. 
The other big difference….this time around I no longer felt I needed as much control. I’d already done everything I’d set out to do with The Apollo Academy and wanted a final home for the series. 

What does this mean for The Apollo Academy? The Apollo Academy has been temporarily pulled from Amazon, B&N, and iTunes.  In the upcoming months, it will go through another round of copy edits. Escape/Harlequin will re-release the book again into the wild sometime January 2015. We may get a new cover??? We may see new marketing campaigns???

What does this mean for Books 2, 3, 4? If all goes according to plan, books 2, 3, and 4 will be published in 6-9 month increments after the re-release of The Apollo Academy.  
I know signing this deal has delayed the release of the second book longer than I originally planned (I'm sorry!), but I know it will be worth it!

Feel free to ask specific questions in the comments below.

Love,
Kim

Friday, July 25, 2014

Cover Reveal-King Tomb

I am SOOOO in love with the Forever Evermore series by Scarlett Dawn and I'm thrilled to take apart in King Tomb's (3rd book in series) cover reveal today! 




From Scarlett Dawn comes the stunning, sexy, sensual, surprising, spell-binding conclusion to the bestselling first Forever Evermore trilogy.

Queen Shifter, Lily Ruckler, has found solace in brutal warfare. Her bloodied fists and bared fangs fill the holes left in her memory, the blank spaces that leave her soul aching and empty. Her only pleasure is in blood; her only salvation is the relationship she has with her infant child, the baby of unknown origins who brings her solace and stability.

When Elder Harcourt summons Lily and her protector Antonio back to the United States, Lily thinks nothing unusual about the change of location. But a standard reconnaissance mission leaves her trapped inside King Zeller’s private quarters, and at his mercy. Surprise attraction rapidly turns to a battle of wills and an intense power struggle that leaves no clear victor but plenty of resentment.

They are not allowed to nurse their wounds. In order to win the war against the Commoners, the King Vampire and Queen Shifter must work together. It should be easy. The war is turning, the battle is deadly, and both Lily and Ezra love the cold cleanliness of combat. But their chance meeting has led to more than an unlikely alliance. Secrets have a way of surfacing, especially on a torn-up battlefield, and Lily and Ezra are about to re-learn all they cannot remember. If they can’t control their emotions and responses, it will be to their own ruin and the destruction of everything around them.

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20495415-king-tomb

Release date: October 8, 2014


Can't wait to get my hands on this bad boy! 

P.S.
Not only is Scarlett a terrific writer, but she's also officially my publishing sister!!! In case you missed the news on FB or Twitter:
It's official! Escape Publishing, an imprint of Harlequin Australia, has picked up The Apollo Academy!!! *squee!* I'll blog about ALL the details soon, but basically they'll be re-releasing TAA. Books 2, 3, and 4 will then (hopefully) be released at 6-9 month intervals. Thank you to everyone who has supported me and The Apollo Academy.  you all!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Update! (Includes a sexy pic of Sky!)

Hello my lovely readers,

I've been receiving quite a few emails and messages about the release date for AIRBORNE. First of all, thank you for asking! I know that means you're excited about the second book in The Apollo Academy series and for that y'all seriously rock! 

I know I've been quiet lately and there are a few reasons for that....

I want Airborne to be just as awesome as The Apollo Academy. That means a lot of writing, re-writing, editing, etc. Airborne is a pivotal book in the series, so I'm working hard to make sure it's just right. 

BUT--the main reason I've been MIA is because I'm really bad at keeping secrets. I have some exciting news that I'm just dying to share with you and this news will impact Airborne's release. All I can say at the moment is that good things are happening and that I hope to be able to share them with you soon.  

I know this doesn't answer your question about Airborne's release date, so I'm going to leave you with a little something to make up for it. Thanks to the wonderfully talented Cliff Nielsen, I have a never before seen picture of Sky. 


(hold onto your panties, ladies!)


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.......




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Monday, May 19, 2014

The Writer's Voice is LIVE!

The Writer’s Voice” is a multi-blog, multi-agent contest hosted by Brenda Drake, Elizabeth Briggs, Monica B. W., and me. We’re basing it on NBC’s singing reality show The Voice, so the four of us will serve as coaches and select projects for our teams based on their queries and first pages.


We also had guest coaches this year, and I would like to give a special thanks to Dannie Morin, author and editor extraordinaire, for helping Team Kimberly/SuperNova this year! Here’s Dannie’s Twitter account, and her website
Also, many thanks to the participating agents:

Mollie Glick of Foundry Literary + Media

Emily Gref of Lowenstein Associates

Taylor Haggerty of Waxman Leavell Literary Agency

Erin Harris of Folio Literary

Brianne Johnson of Writers House

Ginger Knowlton of Curtis Brown, Ltd.

Victoria Marini of Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents, Inc.

Holly McGhee and Elena Giovinazzo of Pippin Properties

Sara Megibow of Nelson Literary Agency

Renee Nyen of kt literary

Ammi-Joan Paquette of Erin Murphy Literary Agency

Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency

Bridget Smith of Dunham Literary

Monika Verma of Levine Greenberg Literary Agency

Caryn Wiseman of Andrea Brown Literary Agency

***Plus two secret ninja agents who will be requesting too!

The agents will vote for their favorites on May 22. Each vote will count as a partial or full request depending on how many votes the entry receives. If an entry receives 1 or 2 votes, those votes will count as partial requests. If an entry receives 3 or more votes, those votes will count as full requests.

Voting will stay open until 9:00 a.m. EDT on May 23, at which point we’ll determine which coach’s team received the most votes. That coach will win bragging rights for time immemorial, and everyone who received requests will be able to submit their materials to all the agents who voted for them. These votes represent serious interest in your project, so PLEASE DON’T ACCEPT AN OFFER OF REPRESENTATION BEFORE GIVING “THE WRITER’S VOICE” AGENTS AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A COMPETING OFFER.

To read the other teams' entries, please use the following links:

Team Brenda

Team Elizabeth

Team Monica

Without further ado, I present to you, MY AMAZING TEAM:

Team Kimberly #1 REVERSE (YA)


Team Kimberly #2 LIBERTY OR DEATH (YA)

Team Kimberly #3 PERCEPTION (YA)

Team Kimberly #4 SUNNY BERINGER'S TOTALLY AWESOME PLAN FOR ROMANCE (MG)

Team Kimberly #5 FRAMED (Adult)

Team Kimberly #6 THOSE MAGIC CHANGES (YA)

Team Kimberly #7 ELEGY (YA)

Team Kimberly #8 THE PACT (Adult)

Lastly, cheerleading is allowed, but only until Wednesday! We want to leave the comments free for the agents to vote on Thursday. (Also, we will only allow, well, cheerleading and/or positive feedback. Please don’t critique the entries before the agents vote. On the flip side, please don’t try to convince the agents that they want to vote for one of your favorites or, you know, threaten to douse the agents in silly string if they don’t vote for your critique partner. This is a silly-string-free site.)


Team Kimberly #1: REVERSE

Title: REVERSE
Genre: YA SCI-FI
Word Count: 80,000

Query:


REVERSE is an 80k YA Sci-fi in the vein of BIG BANG THEORY meets BENJAMIN BUTTON.

Normal after school jobs are overrated, so seventeen-year-old Arden Varga steals her classmates’ memories and sells them to other students. Who wouldn’t pay top dollar for a night as the homecoming queen? Arden’s making serious bank until someone from her school for science geniuses hacks her mind-uploading app and erases her memories’ greatest hits. Vivid flashbacks rip her out of the present and dump her into past mistakes she never wanted to relive. Those forgotten experiences all feature a boy named Sebastian Cuomo, a rival classmate who breaks into school to do homework and makes even quantum physics sound sexy. Unfortunately he can’t remember her either, but the past reveals they’ve been harboring a secret time manipulation project together…and a secret relationship.

As they team up to investigate how to stop the disruptive flashbacks, who carved out their minds, and what they mean to each other, the hacker uses their secret app to make time itself go backward. With the clock counting in the wrong direction and time keeping Arden in the past longer and longer, she must find the culprit before she’s trapped forever living life in reverse.


First 250:

The problem with stealing other people’s memories is you start to lose the difference between what’s theirs and what’s yours. Luckily, I know how to exploit that—as long as the teachers don’t find out, anyway. Normal after-school jobs are overrated when you have a secret during-school-business.

I flip through a list of cataloged memory files on my mind-uploading app as a line of students snakes away from me, each one wanting to buy a different experience. Charlotte Marion, my partner in crime, doles out numbers as if the students are waiting in line at the deli. Once they receive a number, they disperse across the courtyard and mill about like strangers trying to act normal before they break out in a Flash Mob.

“I need the answers to the Organic Chem homework.” The first customer out of thirty lifts a tablet, revealing a mess of stylus-created scribbles on top of complicated math problems.

Charlotte holds out her palm, indicating ten bucks. The girl shifts her weight from foot to foot, skirt swishing around bare legs. Dark clouds swirl in the washed out sky, turning the mirrored building in front of us into a sheet of gray. Cold and clinical, more like an office building than a high school for science geniuses.

Charlotte nudges my shoulder until my lips pop open. “Number two!” I yell, tapping my stiletto on the concrete path.

The customer hands me the cash, and I get to work selling the girl someone else’s stolen memory.

Team Kimberly #2: LIBERTY OR DEATH

Title: LIBERTY OR DEATH
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy
Word Count: 97,000

Query:
Boston, 1777— The British left because something worse arrived.

By day, seventeen-year-old Amity Somerset is an obedient daughter. She perfects her needlework, learns French, practices the minuet, and just like her parents, studiously ignores all that has gone wrong in their world— such as the deaths of her three siblings at the claws of gargoyles. By night, as part of a society called the Nighters, she rallies against the bloodthirsty creatures that hunt Boston’s citizens as their favorite prey.

When her parents announce her arranged marriage, a frustrated Amity breaks the Nighter's number one rule: Never go on shift alone. She nearly meets her demise by spiked gargoyle tail until an outsider named Patrick saves her life. Desirous of becoming a Nighter, he's quickly inducted into their ranks. But Patrick has his own reasons besides vengeance for joining up— reasons that have the potential to change the future of the newly formed United States of America.

Because as Amity soon discovers, not all gargoyles are mindless predators...or fully grown.


First 250:

A gargoyle hunkers in the window, watching me.

I stop breathing— I am in so much trouble.

It holds onto the frame with long, double-jointed fingers, its other hand draped across its knees. Claws twitching, the gargoyle’s mouth opens in a soundless snarl, saliva stringing between splintered teeth as it scents the air.

And I probably smell delicious.

It leaps at the same time I fire, the bright red spark at the end of the barrel illuminating the needle-sharp maw headed for my throat.

The floorboards shudder beneath my feet. Finding myself still standing, I lower my pistol. The gargoyle has landed just short of me. Black liquid pools around its head. Somehow, my reflexive, panicked shot had hit true—straight through the eye, the only vulnerable spot gargoyles possess.

I draw in air to the relief of my starved lungs as I stare down at the stretched out body in confusion: It had leapt for me, more than willing to enter the confined space of the bedroom. To risk being unable to spread its wings. Had I really smelled that delicious?

Still puzzling over the strange behavior, I turn on my heel and— pain bursts like a firework against the side of my head.

I stagger. Stinging red heat obscures my vision. I wipe hard at my eyes, smearing blood and tears. My last loaded pistol in hand I swing to face the bedroom’s second window. Braced in the frame is another gargoyle, its tail slicing through the shadows.

Coming for me.


Team Kimberly #3: PERCEPTION

Title: PERCEPTION
Genre: YA Magical Realism
Word Count: 76,000

Query:

Evan Evans can’t decide what scares him more: keeling over from his rare liver disorder or dying a virgin. When he gets drunk to ask a girl out, he ends up with disturbing dreams, a hangover, and a video of his escapades on a gossip blog.

Now Evan’s grounded. His liver’s failing. And his secretive virtual support group is pissed the video highlights his symptoms. Things go from bad to weird when the nightmares come true, including a classmate’s death and a post-funeral make out session with the blogger who exposed him.

Evan’s certain he could’ve prevented the tragedy, if he’d understood what his dreams meant. And he can’t resist his attraction to the school snitch’s confidence, curves, or the hints that she’s not the one pulling the strings online. While questioning who to trust with the dangerous secrets of his illness, he’s confronted by a specialist conducting unregulated clinical trials and a government informant desperate to record his dreams. Evan must face his disease, its effects on everyone he cares about, and the choice between a longer life on someone else’s terms, or freedom with no hope of recovery.

PERCEPTION is Holly Black's White Cat meets Jennifer Smith’s The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight.


First 250:
CHAPTER 1

That first sip tasted like change, cool with only a hint of bitter.

No one at the party expected me to take a beer, least of all me. My liver’s shot from this genetic disorder I have, so alcohol is high on the list of things not allowed in my body. But after hours at the beach, alone by the fire and surrounded by couples making out, I fished a can from the cooler and cracked it open before my conscience could stop me.

I’d wasted three years in the shadows. Before senior year started, I had to ask a girl out. A little liquid courage seemed like a step in the right direction.

“Oh, shit! Evan Evans has a beer! Somebody take a picture.” Jake laughed.

I flipped Jake off and walked to the shoreline. We’d snuck into Hanna Park through the woods, far from the lights of the condos farther south. Away from the bonfire, the night was all black water and white moonlight catching on the breakers. The memory of coconut sunscreen clung to the breeze, warm but welcome.

I chugged the rest of the beer, ignoring my churning stomach. Powdery dry sand weighed down my feet, and my toe caught when I crossed onto the hard-packed dampness. I pulled a thin red ribbon from beneath my foot. It slipped from my fingers and caught on the wind, twisting and swirling toward a girl sitting alone on a rental chair. 


I couldn’t tell who it was, but I started toward her. Better to talk one-on-one than to crash and burn in front of the crowd.

Team Kimberly #4: SUNNY BERINGER'S TOTALLY AWESOME PLAN FOR ROMANCE

Title: SUNNY BERINGER'S TOTALLY AWESOME PLAN FOR ROMANCE
Genre: MG Contemporary
Word Count: 47,000

Query:

At a time when most eleven-year-olds are navigating first crushes, Sunny Beringer finds herself trying to ignite a spark... between her own parents. That’s when Sunny Beringer’s Totally Awesome Plan for Romance is born--a list of sure-fire ways to make her mom and forever boyfriend Scott, her real dad as far as she’s concerned, fall madly in love again.

Step One: Buy Mom and Dad a gift certificate to a romantic restaurant.

Step Two: Make a playlist of Mom’s favorite love songs and give it to Dad. (The mushier, the better!)

Step Three: Enter “A Perfect Family” contest by writing a paragraph about what a great couple Mom and Dad are. (Win the contest and they’ll have to get back together. Plus, the whole family earns a trip to Disney World!)

Step Four: Cut down flowers from the neighbor’s rose bush and give them to Mom as a gift from a Secret Admirer.

By the time Sunny gets to Number 5 on her list, she knows this spark will need to be more like a wildfire. Her mom is back in school and now they’re living miles and miles away from home. Going to a new school, meeting new friends, and learning to live with a grandmother she doesn’t know isn’t easy. To make matters worse, she uncovers secrets about Mom and Dad’s past that makes her question if she’s ever really had a family at all. Without a marriage, divorce, or custody arrangement Sunny knows if she doesn’t spark a romance between her parents soon, she’ll risk losing the only father she’s ever known.


First 250:
Gravel crunched under the car wheels as we pulled into a long winding driveway. I stuck my hand in my jeans pocket, running my fingers over the tiny slip of paper I’d found in my fortune cookie at lunchtime.
You will have a pleasant surprise.
I’d had plenty of surprises in the last couple of months, none of them pleasant. The only surprise I wanted now was for Mom to back the car out of the driveway and tell us it had all been a big mistake. 
My younger sister Autumn bounced up and down on the seat. “This is our new home?”
I stared out the window at a huge white house with black shutters and a porch that wrapped around the side. “This is not our new home,” I corrected her. “It’s our temporary residence.”
Autumn ignored me as she got out of the car. “It’s the most beautiful house I’ve ever seen,” she said, almost in a whisper.
It may have looked like something out of one of those magazines you find at the dentist office, but that didn’t mean I wanted to live there. Moving in with our grandmother meant I was now dad-less, best friend-less, and cat-less, which was nothing to be excited about at all. 
 “Oh, can’t you just feel that fresh mountain air!” Mom exhaled deeply to make her point. 
I had no idea what she was talking about. It still felt hot and humid to me, seeing it was the middle of August. I stared at the hazy blue mountains off in the distance.

Team Kimberly #5: FRAMED

Title: FRAMED
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 100k

Query:

When Salt Lake Trib reporter and aspiring novelist Callie Burkhardt started a Ross Dexter fan blog, she didn't anticipate her alter-ego, “Dex's Next Ex,” would become a social media darling and the source for snarky fun and gossip about filmdom's premier golden boy. Landing a contract to write Dex’s biography seems too good to be true, but it’s a step closer to her dream. An added bonus is finding a kindred spirit in Dex’s cousin, handsome A-list restaurateur Jace, a Texas farm boy dropped hard into Hollywood's fast lane. 

As Callie digs deeper into Dex’s life, she learns things don’t add up in this glamorous world filled with debauchery and deceit. Especially where Dex’s wife Diana is concerned, a beautiful porn-star-turned-entrepreneur with a talent for blackmail. What Callie uncovers fuels her fear that there’s far more to why they chose her to tell their story. Both she and Jace want to leave L.A. and pursue their careers on their own terms instead of the Dexters’. Unfortunately, "happily ever after" isn't the ending Diana has in mind for Jace and Callie, forcing them to face a hard truth—one that could destroy their happiness and put not only their careers on the line, but their lives.


First 250:

Callie Burkhardt gave her lens a clockwise twist, the answering zoom framing her quarry inside the viewfinder. Her index finger hovered, waiting for that perfect shot. She considered her subject, the face that barely hinted at the man’s penchant for Hollywood excess. He looked good for someone sliding toward forty.

Ross Dexter, known far and wide as simply “Dex,” gripped the bottom of his designer t-shirt and winked at the female fan in front of him. His biceps flexing, he lifted the garment enough to expose his legendary abs. The low riding waistband of his jeans sat comfortably on his hips, just below the sharp line of his well-defined obliques, revealing a good measure of a golden blond treasure trail.

So much for the man’s very public attempt to transform his reputation. His man-whore moves were too ingrained.

She steadied the lens in her palm, shifting it enough to cut the fan from the photo.

Click.

The actor’s eyes held a lascivious glint. He threw his head back, too-white teeth flashing as he laughed at the fan’s reaction.

Click.

These would be gold.

The frame went black. Callie glanced over the top of her camera to a broad chest inside a business suit. His Sundance lanyard said SECURITY. She lifted her eyes to a tanned face before stopping short at a pair of deep-set hazel eyes lined by thick gold-tipped lashes.

“No cameras. Can’t you read the signs?”

“I have clearance.” Callie bristled and flashed her press credentials. “Salt Lake Trib. Now move.”


Team Kimberly #6: THOSE MAGIC CHANGES

Title: THOSE MAGIC CHANGES
Genre: YA Magical Realism
Word Count: 86,000

Query:

Seventeen-year-olds Alexandra and Axl Reed may be twins but their interests are as related as baseball and the theatre. Perfect Alexandra is the glorified virgin of Titan Heights; Axl's the renowned punk. They’re always in each other’s faces. 

Until a freak accident puts them in each other's bodies.

Alexandra’s been paying her theatrical dues for years, but after the “magic change,” Axl’s argumentative and carefree ways are going to get him kicked out of Grease rehearsals, very well destroying any chance Alexandra has of performing onstage again. Worse—he drinks. He swears. And, for the love of Fosse, he even rats her hair.

Meanwhile, crass Axl’s been kicking ass at baseball since Little League and he’s finally got a shot at starting for the varsity team. But in his body, Alexandra’s too nice. Too freaking polite. And those jazz hands are going to get her a swirlie. Or worse.

If the twins want to reclaim their bodies and their lives, Axl will have to lose his free-wheeling ways and take on the role of his perfectionist uptight sister, and Alexandra will have to step up to the plate and improvise the part of her brother. They'll have to learn how to relate quickly. Or be the other. Indefinitely.

With the slapstick humor of a campy Broadway song yet the relatable soul of a classic rock ballad, THOSE MAGIC CHANGES will appeal to fans of Grease, Freaky Friday, Glee, baseball, and good ol’ rock and roll.



First 250:

I live for drama.

Guys and Dolls, Oliver, The Wizard of Oz. Last year I played Kim McAfee in Bye Bye Birdie—not the lead, but a pretty sizeable role. I've yet to experience the “big” part, but theatre’s about paying dues, and I’ve paid mine. Understudy, bit parts, dance classes and voice lessons. And now that Mr. Fonda’s selected Grease as this year’s spring musical, I know all that hard work has finally paid off.

I’ll have the best junior year ever if I’m cast as Sandy. I don’t drink or swear. And for the love of Fosse, I never rat my hair. It’s always in a tight ponytail, thank you very much. I spin a circle as I arrive at my locker. I cannot wait to see the cast list!

I'm two swivels into my locker's combination when my brother’s body slams into it. Axl curses and I gasp as Michael Titan shoves him up against his locker. And mine.

“Mess with my girlfriend again, punk, and it’ll be your face in the toilet.”

Axl eggs him on with his cocky little grin. “You mess with my friends, I screw yours, asshole.”

The crowd around us grows exponentially. My claustrophobia’s kicking in. Next, it will be my asthma. I brace myself with my inhaler, focus on controlling my breathing. Especially once Michael squares his shoulders. His very broad shoulders.

“You can shut your mouth now. Punk.”

“Make me.” Axl blows a spike of hair off his forehead. “Dick.”

Team Kimberly #7: ELEGY

Title: ELEGY
Genre: YA Paranormal Suspense
Word Count: 63,000

Query:
Stella Kim opened a Carnegie Hall concert with her world-class violin at the age of thirteen. Four years later, she enrolls at a prestigious music school in France, certain she’ll be a star even among the cream of the crop. With renowned teachers and the owners’ handsome son, Paul, to impress – not to mention her best friend, Aria, by her side – Stella anticipates a sparkling debut.

What she doesn’t expect is shy, humble Aria stealing not only Paul’s interest, but also the spotlight, after a brilliant performance on an old violin she found in the school. Her pride wounded, Stella begins drifting away from her friend, who seems to be growing more and more obsessed with success… and with that hideous instrument.

But when Aria starts to sleepwalk and to speak of a strange, sad-eyed man who haunts her dreams, teaching her to play with a passion she has never felt before, Stella realizes that the violin may be endangering her friend’s life. She puts aside her ego and, with Paul's help, delves into the violin’s secrets, uncovering the dark history of a musician whose unrequited love may have led him to seek revenge from beyond the grave.

Together, they must unravel the mystery before the ghost brings down the curtain and claims Aria forever in this sweepingly romantic tale inspired by The Phantom of the Opera.



First 250:

Excitement was not an emotion Stella Kim allowed herself to show. She preferred to take life coolly, calm and unruffled like the waters of some wintry pond. But when she looked out the car window at the Chateau Champlain, where she would spend the next four years of her life, her lips twitched upward of their own accord. Here, in this gray stone giant on the banks of the Loire River, she would make something of herself.

There would be sopranos who had sung at the Sydney Opera House, dancers from corps de ballet across the globe, and pianists who had performed for royalty. The spotlight followed them in a trail of dreams, and today, she would be among them, one of the elite.

“I can’t believe we’re going to live here.” Aria Stewart pressed her face against the window. “It’s like Marie Antoinette.”

“It’s not exactly Versailles,” Stella said, noting the expensive cars parked along the drive.

“Come on, I know you’re more excited than you let on.”

Stella returned her infectious smile. “I am. It’s just…” She hesitated, remembering the day she had gotten her acceptance letter from the French-American School and placed it in front of her mother, her joy like secret bubbles rising within her. But Deborah Kim had only glanced at it briefly, saying “We’ll have to get your passport renewed,” and the bubbles had popped, one by one, until she was nothing more than flat champagne.

Team Kimberly #8: THE PACT

Title: THE PACT
Genre: ADULT SCIFI
Word Count: 100K

Query:

For twenty-one-year old Scarlett Earle, being the President’s daughter has its perks, like getting exempt from a worldwide alien-induced slaughter that happens once every four years.

After an alien race, known as the Otros, set in motion a war that consumed the Earth, the powers on both sides made a pact to end the fight. The result was The Clearing, an event that allows a harvest of all the Earth’s resources, including humans. For mankind, this means respite from attack and peaceful living for the majority of their lives. For the Otros, it means total domination.

Scarlett is assigned the task of traveling through North America to speak about the importance and history of The Clearing. While on the road, she learns that the story she's been told to tell isn’t as accurate as she once thought. The lies that her parents have been telling her, and the entire world, begin to unravel and Scarlett learns that the pact her father made may not have been so simple.

As Scarlett discovers the truth, she’ll be in danger not only from an underground rebel group who plans to overthrow the government, but also from the government itself. 
THE PACT is a standalone Adult novel with series potential. It is HOUSE OF CARDS meets WAR OF THE WORLDS, as political gameplay and science fiction merge in a story about a corrupt government and a girl who is faced with the ultimate choice: duty or truth? 

First 250:

The invasion didn’t happen the way it does in the movies. Instead of screaming, there was silence. No black, omniscient death ships hovering in the sky.  No unstoppable laser-powered weapons. Definitely, no little green men. 

It was anti-climactic where scenarios of world domination are concerned. One could even say that if it wasn’t for living in the age of technology, mankind could have carried on and not even noticed what was happening around them. 

The disappearances began in the poorest countries, Liberia, Malawi, the Congo. At first it was just the livestock that went missing. Large herds seemed to evaporate overnight, with no evidence left of where they went or who took them. Then there was war, but in places already filled with struggle, this didn’t draw much attention from the rest of the world, not until more precious goods began to go missing. Coffee, cotton, diamonds and oil suffered the same fate as the livestock and this made the world take notice, but not in a good way. The fighting grew to a larger scale, each countries leaders accusing the others. There was conflict and violence that began consuming the planet, all of which laid the groundwork for the real war to begin. 

  It’s hard to know whether they planned this, or if it was sheer luck that the human race chose to hurt instead of help each other. After fine goods, they moved onto the next commodity they sought, the one that they wanted more than anything.

Us.  

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Writer's Voice Blogfest is live!

“The Writer’s Voice” Blogfest is live! Over the next week, the coaches will review your queries and first pages on the blogs listed below, and if one of the coaches wants you on her team, she’ll leave a comment on your post that says something like, “I want you!” (Please note that the coaches won’t post any comments for the first few days, so if you don’t get an instant “I want you!” don’t fret!) If more than one coach wants you, you’ll have to pick which coach you want to work with. (We’ll give you more instructions on this next week, depending on how things pan out…)

For more information, including a timeline of events and a list of this year’s participating agents, check out this post. In the meantime, feel free to hop around and play along with these not-quite-blind auditions!

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Writer's Voice Rafflecopter Is Open!

Welcome to “The Writer’s Voice” 2014! To enter, your manuscript must meet two conditions: First, it must be COMPLETE, POLISHED, AND READY TO QUERY, and second, it must be in one of the following genres:

Adult Historical

Adult Fantasy

Adult Science Fiction

Adult Romance (excluding erotica)

YA fiction (all genres)


MG fiction (all genres)

Also, YOU MUST HAVE A BLOG TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS CONTEST, as we’ll be building our teams via “The Writer’s Voice” Blogfest (which starts tomorrow). You don’t have to have a blog at this moment to enter, but you will need to create one ASAP if you win a spot in the blogfest (which is what today’s Rafflecopter lottery will determine).

For more information, including a timeline of events and a list of this year’s participating agents, check out this post. Then feel free to enter the Rafflecopter lottery anytime between now and 9:00 p.m. EDT!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Meet My Celebrity Coach- Dannie Morin!

With the Writer's Voice rapidly approaching, I wanted to take a moment to introduce my fabulous "celebrity coach." 

I'm thrilled to announce that Dannie Morin will be joining my Writer's Voice team! This means not only will you receive feedback and suggestions from me, but from Dannie as well. Dannie is a fabulous writer and editor, but also one of the nicest and funniest women I've had the pleasure of calling a friend. These days she gets to charge for her fabulous editorial services, but if you make our Writer's Voice team you'll get them for FREE.  


Dannie Morin is an addictions therapist with a writing problem. By day she alternates between counseling teens and wrangling a very sassy toddler. By night she writes, critiques, and edits like a boss. When she's not doing any of those things, she's a compulsive participant in the Carolinas Region of SCBWI and a regular Snarky Sue in online Pitch Contests. Dannie is represented by Thao Le of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency and pens Young Adult and New Adult fiction in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

If you'd like to read more about Dannie or learn how to hire her as your editor, go here:  http://lefttorightedits.blogspot.com

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Writer's Voice!


“The Writer’s Voice” is a multi-blog, multi-agent contest hosted by Brenda Drake, Mónica Bustamante WagnerElizabeth Briggs, and me. We’re basing it on NBC’s singing reality show The Voice, so the four of us will serve as coaches and select projects for our teams based on their queries and first pages.

Here’s the timeline:


May 1            Everybody enters the Rafflecopter lottery

May 2            The lottery winners sign up on the widget

May 2-10      We select our teams members from "The Writer's Voice" Blogfest

May 10-19    We coach our team members, helping them polish their entries

May 19          We post our team members' entries on our blogs

May 22          Agents vote for their favorites


Submissions:

To enter, your manuscript must meet two conditions: First, it must be COMPLETE, POLISHED, AND READY TO QUERY, and second, it must be in one of the following genres*:

Adult Historical

Adult Fantasy

Adult Science Fiction

Adult Romance

YA fiction (all genres)
MG fiction (all genres)

To determine who gets to participate in the blogfest, we’ll hold a single-entry Rafflecopter lottery on Thursday, May 1. The lottery will remain open for 12 hours, from 9:00 a.m. EDT to 9:00 p.m. EDT, at which point the Rafflecopter will select 150 random winners. Those winners will then sign up for the blogfest on one of Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets the next day, May 2. Once you sign up on the widget, you’ll post YOUR QUERY and THE FIRST 250 WORDS of your manuscript on your blog.

In summary, you must follow these three steps to enter:

1. Enter the Rafflecopter lottery on May 1 during the submission window listed above.

2. Sign up on the widget on May 2 if you win the lottery.
3. Post your query and the first 250 words of your manuscript on your blog.

Selections

We’re building our teams via “The Writer’s Voice” Blogfest, so YOU MUST HAVE A BLOG TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS CONTEST. We don’t care if you’ve had it for five years or five minutes; we just want to be able to fight over you in public:)

We coaches will review the entries and leave a comment on your post that says something like, “I want you!” If more than one of us wants you on her team, you’ll have to pick which coach you want to work with.

Coaching:

We’ll select our 8 team members by May 10, then spend the next week and a half helping them put a final polish on their entries. You won’t have to take all of our suggestions, of course; we just want to help you make your entry the best that it can be before the agents get a look at it. And if you make my team, you'll also get feedback from the fabulous Dannie Morin! And trust me...you'll want her feedback!

Voting:

On May 19, we’ll post our team members’ queries and first pages on our blogs so that the agents can review them. Here are the awesome agents who’ll be voting on your entries:

Mollie Glick of Foundry Literary + Media

Emily Gref of Lowenstein Associates

Taylor Haggerty of Waxman Leavell Literary Agency


Erin Harris of Folio Literary
Brianne Johnson of Writers House

Ginger Knowlton of Curtis Brown, Ltd.

Holly McGhee and Elena Giovinazzo of Pippin Properties


Victoria Marini at Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents, Inc.

Sara Megibow of Nelson Literary Agency

Renee Nyen of kt literary

Ammi-Joan Paquette of Erin Murphy Literary Agency

Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency

Bridget Smith of Dunham Literary

Monika Verma of Levine Greenberg Literary Agency

Caryn Wiseman of Andrea Brown Literary Agency

The agents will vote for their favorites on May 22. Each vote will count as a partial or full request depending on how many votes the entry receives. If an entry receives 1 or 2 votes, those votes will count as partial requests. If an entry receives 3 or more votes, those votes will count as full requests.

Voting will stay open until 9:00 a.m. EDT on May 23, at which point we’ll determine which coach’s team received the most votes. That coach will win bragging rights for time immemorial, and everyone who received requests will be able to submit their materials to all the agents who voted for them. These votes represent serious interest in your project, so PLEASE DON’T ACCEPT AN OFFER OF REPRESENTATION BEFORE GIVING “THE WRITER’S VOICE” AGENTS AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A COMPETING OFFER.

So get those queries and first pages polished up, then meet us back here on Thursday, May 1, between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. EDT. We can’t wait to read your entries! (And of course, if you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments below.)

****As you probably noticed, we’re not including any new adult genres. We have to base the genres on the agents’ interests, and most of the agents participating this year aren’t looking for NA at the moment.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Nest Pitch is LIVE!

The Agent round of Nest Pitch is currently under way! 

The Slush Bilbies have sorted through the entries to help the Nest Bloggers whittle down the entries. Now the top seventy-two entries have made it through and are waiting for agents to hop on by to make requests.  

Please remember that until the agents have finished making their selections, comments are for agents only. If you want to cheer on your favourite prior to then, you can do it in the comments of this post.  

Between now and 8am April 19th USA EST  

To find out more about the Nest Pitch Easter Pitch Hunt go here and the Rules and Conditions here. You can find the full schedule here and the participating agents here  

Here are my gorgeous entries: 


You can find the rest of the entries snuggled safely in the other bloggers nests: 

Brooke Powell      
Tina Moss     

Good luck to everyone who has made it to here. May your nest be filled with lots of chocolaty request.  

NEST PITCH KC1: COVETED

Category/Genre: YA URBAN FANTASY

Word Count: 93,000

Pitch: Supernatural meets Angel Burn when Caleb's necromantic powers have him
dodging a zealot who believes he plans to enslave mankind, gun-toting wizards, demons,
and the affections of a super-powered hottie who’s eight kinds of crazy.


If my main character were an easter egg, what flavor would he/she be and why? “I don’t--I don’t understand the question. Do eggs came in flavors other than...egg?”

Excerpt:
Chapter One: Narcoleptic
Present Day

MISSING, PRESUMED DEAD.

Caleb stared at the headline with practiced apathy. Three simple words emblazoned across his computer screen leered up at him from article after article, news post after news post. It was an old truth, but the pain tied to it burned fresh.

Presumed means probably. His parents were probably dead. Not definitely.

He repeated the thought until the pressure in his chest deflated. Deep breaths drew him from the brink and he lowered his hands from his face. Pull it in and push it down.

Shoving from the desk, he glanced at his occupied couch. Nestled in the crook of the arm, L’Dawn swept bangs from her face and tucked them behind her ear. Her hand dropped against her shoulder, the collar of her t-shirt cut away, leaving a wide arch that exposed soft, caramel skin. Not the outfit she wore to school today.

She’d changed before coming over, even put on more makeup for some reason, something about wanting to be ‘comfy’. The effort women put into relaxing was ridiculous, and didn’t more work sort of defeat the point? He hoped she was good and cozy, because her comfort obliterated his ability to focus, and made him squirm.

His eyes traced the path one dark curl marked against her neck, down to where it dipped just beneath the front of her shirt. His palms itched at the thought of brushing that hair aside. Instead, he tightened his grip on the arm of the chair. It creaked under his fingers, and she looked up. Her shoulders shook in silent laughter.

“Doesn’t look like you’re doing much studying.” She set down the magazine she’d been reading.

“Hmm?” he asked, casual like, as if he hadn’t been undressing her with his eyes this whole time.