Two Tweets and a thought

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Ah, life. Just when things are settling into a nice normal, it has to throw other things at us.

But this post isn’t really about how the air conditioning convector got a mouse stuck in it that clogged it and flooded the floor of our living room which now needs replaced, or how a friend is having a medical issue that has me in worried big sister mode, and all the things that are horrible in the larger world. The tweets above combined and got me thinking about what is really under our control when it comes to writing. Doesn’t it seem sometimes that no matter how hard you try, something finds a way to throw you off? You try to plan, OK, I’ll have this draft written by July 1st, and then edited by September 1st, and so on. Then an afternoon is spent chasing the dog around because she has diarrhea because she was an ass who decided to, in the 15 minutes between humans, get out of her bag, open the bedroom sliding door, and eat a cough drop (No actual harm, they weren’t sugar free, she just has a historically sensitive tummy). Or you just get going on the project and the phone rings where your mother in all but law finally has time to talk and you need to coordinate what’s going on with the whole floor thing. Or, let’s be real, your social media feed is a mix of politics and cute animals and you reallllly need to stop scrolling and get things done.

What do you do, when it feels like you’re overwhelmed, to stay productive?

Sometimes, nothing. Sometimes the best answer is to stop and step back, breathe into a plant for a while (seriously, it helps more than regular deep breathing!), and let the project sit. Snuggle that baby, or dog, take a walk, and eat a thing that makes you happy. Watch one of those BBC reality shows where nothing bad ever actually happens and if you zone out for a while, you haven’t really missed anything. (I’m getting quite fond of Lords and Ladles for this purpose.)

But deadlines, I hear you scream. I have to get this done.

Yes you do. Take time though first to work through your immediate feelings, sleep, eat, and shower, and you’ll find it easier to deal with. Once you’re not feeling so overwhelmed, then make a plan. IE I’m only allowed to scroll social media while I am actively eating. I must have it blocked with an extension the rest of the time. Hold yourself to whatever deal you make, but treat yourself the way you’d treat your best friend. If you screw up, smack yourself on the hand, and get back to work. Outsource what you can (Your friends are more willing to help than you realize, and no, you wont be bothering them to ask!), automate where you can, and focus on spending the limited time and energy you DO have on the things that will get you closest to your goals. For me, that’s editing client books and working on my own. If that means the dishes only get done every few days instead of daily, or that we eat a bit more takeout, then that’s what happens.

Spoiler: No one really has their shit together. No one has a wand that makes all their problems go away. The best we can do sometimes is to figure out, OK, for this next hour, I’m going to go write. I’m going to go schedule some tweets for later, including some cute animal pictures, because it might help someone when they’re having a bad day.

Second trick-Look for something good. One of my writing groups does a “Things that Don’t Suck” that people can ask for whenever they feel they need it. Talk with a friend about what you’re dealing with, but also about what’s not sucky. Maybe they had a really good idea on how to fix a problem with their book, and it’ll lead to feeling energized about yours. Ask your friends if they have some good news to share, or search for book releases, cover reveals, or deal announcements. Realize that all those books? Were probably interrupted by problems both small and large. They did it eventually, and eventually so will you.

No one knows what the future holds, except in this: There will be shitty (sometimes literally) days, and there will be amazing days where you feel like everything has come together. There’s always good ahead, you just gotta put up with the shit to get there. Someone grab the bleach spray and the rubber gloves, and let’s get down to work.

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Re: GDPR

I don’t collect your info, nor do I care to. If someone emails me or comments it goes to my email, and I just use it to reply to you if a reply is needed, and then archive it. If you really ever want me to delete any of it, tell me and I will, just don’t use that to be a jerk, please. For Chimera, I only use the information to render whatever service we’re doing for you and to bill it. Again, I archive it after so that if you email me with a question later, I can reference back to the project/my critique. I keep a copy of anything you send me or I send you, in case of computer issues later. If you ever lose a file because of  a hard drive issue, I’ve got your back if you’ve sent it to me. But I won’t email you for other random purposes, short of something REALLY coming up. Like, if I stop doing editing at some point, I’d probably contact all my existing clients and give them a heads up. Not something I ever plan to do, but that’s about the only situation where I’d email you first and not in regard to a specific project we’re both actively working on.

Whatever wordpress and/or gmail are doing with your data? That’s probably way more than I personally would, ever. Honestly, I attempted to figure out google analytics and just got a headache, so I don’t really understand any of that junk. I just want to edit awesome books, write awesome (someday!) books, and read awesome books. I have zero interest in your data. K? So Europe? don’t get cranky at me. PLZKTHANX! ❤

Happy Book Birthday @KTHanna and Initializing

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If you’re fond of me, you may want to take a peek at the dedication on this one. Yes, I did squeefit and cry at bit at that. I remember as a child, once I realized books were written by actual people, looking at dedications and thinking, “Wow, that person must really be important to the author.” Acknowledgements are wonderful, when I get my workspace reorganized I’m printing a bunch of them on pretty paper and framing it, but that’s a whole ‘nother level. I’m so proud of what Kt’s accomplished on this one. For those not familiar with Gamelit/LitRPG, it’s basically novelizing playing a fake game, usually an MMO, but in a way that still ends up immersing you in that world. The genre expectations are a bit different than a standard scifi, there’s a slower pace to the larger series plot because the game elements drive a lot of the action. It’s a subgenre that is really popular in other countries but still under the American radar, though I expect that to change fairly quickly. Check it out!

Discover the class you were born to play.

Wren, a seasoned healer, is dismayed when Somnia Online automatically assigns her character, Murmur, to the Enchanter class. Determined to overcome the unexpected setback, she assembles her guild, intent on the coveted #1 spot. Twelve keys stand between her and victory, but finding them is only part of the puzzle.

Armed with telepathic abilities, Murmur rises to the challenge. However, old rivals have followed her to Somnia Online desperate for revenge. Intricate quest lines become more dangerous as NPCs absorb powerful artifacts, and Murmur begins to wonder just what sort of AI controls the world.

Murmur questions her sanity as the real and virtual worlds mesh together. Everyone is keeping secrets from her, even the AI, and Murmur’s determined to uncover them.

Available through Amazon

Excerpt:

A skeleton shambled to the left, its bones creaking softly as it jangled about. Straight ahead was a spider with ridiculously long legs, and off to the right was a cluster of so mething she couldn’t make out. All of the mobs she could see were yellow, probably at least level three. But if she didn’t try, she’d never know.

Feeling reckless , she cast minor suffocation and pulled the skeleton toward her. The fact that the spell manag ed to convince an undead creature it was being strangled was quite amazing. It let out a cackle and jangled over to her as she backed up, hoping to let a third tick hit before it reached her. This time her spell was hitting for five and four. A slight incr ease was at least something. The skeleton flailed a wooden staff in the air and Murmur hoped against hope her hit points would outlast it.

Then it was upon her, three ticks of her Damage Over Time down. The thing was tall and gangly and she realized these skeletons had to be locus , too. Even its empty sockets glowed, like some type of magic possessed it. Considering it was a walking skeleton, that probably wasn’t far from the truth. It swung at her, and barely missed when she managed to dodge. She could fee l the heaviness of her body, and the unwillingness with which it made the movement. That was probably her one dodge for the next twenty. She’d better make it count.

Killing a skeleton was far more difficult than a beetle. For one thing, it was already bloo dy dead. That blasted staff hurt too, though not as much as the pincer claws had. It made Murmur wonder if locus could bruise. Finally, after what seemed like an age, she managed to hack its skull off. She leaned forward and looted the mob. It had twelve c opper on it. Maybe skeletons were a good idea for a while with or without her quest. Not only that, the staff it had been wielding was hers as well.

“Score,” she muttered to herself, aware she was probably grinning like a loon. Sure, her staff skills were n’t up to par but she was sure it wouldn’t take too long. It’s not like melee did most of her damage or anything.

 

Author Bio:

K.T. Hanna

KT Hanna has such a love for words, a single one can spark entire worlds.
Born in Australia, she met her husband in a computer game, moved to the U.S.A. and went into culture shock. Bonus? Not as many creatures specifically designed to kill you.
KT creates science-fiction, fantasy, and LitRPG like it’s going out of style, with a dash of horror for fun! She freelance edits for Chimera Editing, plays computer games, and chases her daughter, husband, corgis, cats, and snake.

No, she doesn’t sleep. She is entirely powered by the number 2, caffeine, Chipotle, and sarcasm.

K.T. can be found in the following places:

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Patreon
Amazon

 

Worth a shot!

So I’ve mentioned in the past on here how hard I’ve found it to put my work out there. It’s something I’ve struggled with since I started writing. I got better about it when I was doing short stories under a pen name (which lapsed when the others involved got too busy with their work/kids), but putting it out under my real name? Oh, that’s a whole different ballgame. But I’ve realized as time goes on, it’s too much work to keep a pen name. I’m not willing to devote that much time to social media, among other reasons. Putting my work out under my actual name makes me worry that readers will judge my ability to edit based on my own writing. Telling others what to improve on their writing doesn’t translate 100% to making my own stories perfect. I wish it did!

Putting my ego where my mouth is, I entered Revpit. I didn’t get chosen- I didn’t expect to, the MS I entered is too short for genre norms, and a lot of awesome books enter competitions like that. But I found a bunch of cool writers, befriended some, and had my instincts on that project confirmed. (I’m now working out the outline for the other half of the duology it was always meant to be so they can be released together quickly.) And it got me thinking about how I really want to chase being both an editor AND a writer. Balancing the two is an issue, but less so when I get steady editing work and don’t have 9+ hours a day taken up with the dayjob/commute.

Coincidentally, a #Pitchwars mentor was setting up a mentoring style MS swap within a private group, and fresh with confidence from putting my work out there once, I asked to join. I’ve already found so many in there I want to read, so this should be fun. One of my other groups was talking about how hard it is to find compatible crit partners, and I was thinking about that.

An old writing buddy of mine (literally, one of my first writing friends) and I were talking after a hiatus, and I really looked at where she’s at, career wise, vs where I’ve gotten so far. When we first met, I really looked up to her. But she always got caught up in drama and social media and a whirlwind of other problems seemed to never stop for her. She got caught up in it all, and her words always came last to everything else. We now run in completely different circles. Not better or worse, just different.

An old college friend was bemoaning the fact that her favorite author is her age, and it struck me as silly (Sorry Miche!) because it’s all about prioritizing. If you don’t try, you’ll never know. If you write, and help other writers, they’ll help you too. I have a whole list of people I’ve critiqued informally for, who I can ask for help when I’m ready. But that’s not why I helped. I helped because we’re friends, and that’s what friends do.

I’ve spent 15 years really, building connections in the writing community. Slowly, offering to help whenever I could, consistently. It’s paid off in friendships and opportunities alike, and it struck me that this is really what they mean by networking. People confuse networking with an immediate, what can you do for me attitude. That’s where it goes wrong. I’m not offering to help my friends because I want something from them. I’m offering to help because I want them to succeed, and I want to celebrate their success. If it comes back to me eventually, then great! That’s friendship. I’ve noticed so many people getting stuck on one project, one element, one contest and if they don’t get in, they’re shattered. Building community, writing friends, people who are more experienced and less experienced, that’s what these contests should be about. I never went into Pitchwars expecting my mentees to get a deal. I went into it wanting to help writers who were telling the sorts of stories I wanted to see more of in the world.

Speaking of putting words last, I’m going to go outline, write up a review for this Gamelit I’ve devoured, and see what I can get done on this short story idea I’ve been kicking around… Happy weekend!

(On a functional level-Expect more posts here soon, I’ve got a miniproject in the works as time allows, and I’d forgotten how nice putting life into the tidy box of blogging feels!)

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY @LH_Writes REALITY WEDDING!

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This series is SO fun, and Laura is probably one of the sweetest writers I’ve met, no exaggeration. Ok, so we may have bonded arguing over a MS in Pitchwars behind the scenes, but seriously. Check it out!

Lights? Camera? Action! In this irresistible final installment of the Reality Star Series, one woman’s dream wedding may be about to turn into a reality nightmare…

 

 

Synopsis

SAY ‘I DO’—OR ELSE

When Jen Reid escaped a reality TV cruise with her relationship intact—if not her hair—she swore she was done with the cameras for good. Sure, she and Justin met, had their first kiss, and got engaged with tape rolling, but manufactured drama and ruthless producers have shaken them up more times than she can count. With Jen’s reality-themed bakery just getting started and her brand-new lawyer fiancé in a pile of debt, they’re a long way from glitz and glamour, and that’s fine by Jen. Until the Network calls and tells her that unless she says “I do” to a wedding special, Justin will be out of a job.

Now Jen has two weeks to plan an all-expenses-paid “dream wedding”—and dodge the tricks and traps of a showrunner happy to mess up her future in the name of ratings. Luckily for Jen, she’s got plenty of experience with cake and popcorn. But when real-life drama and reality TV twists collide, the cliffhangers may just follow her right down the aisle . . .

 

Praise for Reality Wedding:

“The third book in Heffernan’s Reality Star series is such a fun and entertaining read, as Justin and Jen – and all the drama that seems to follow them everywhere – are back. Will they get married is the big question here, and will reality TV have any part. Heffernan will keep readers guessing, as the story has some twists to it. With lots of drama, a bit of humor and a sweet romance, this series is as addicting as reality TV. Fans of Sophie Kinsella might want to give this series a try.”- RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars 

Available now from all major retailers. Order today!

 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play iBooks

 

 

Excerpt:

 

 

“Justin, I can’t hear you. Where are you?”

“Airport…on.”

I fought the urge to chuck my useless phone across the room. “What? Justin, I can’t understand anything you’re saying. We’ve got a terrible connection.”

The phone went dead. I called him back immediately, but nothing happened. The several voicemails he’d left shed no additional light on anything: a lot of static, a couple of broken airline announcements in the background, crowd noise, and one that sounded like a butt dial from the men’s room. Awesome. My concern grew with each uninformative message. All the texts were variations of “Please call me ASAP.”

Heart pounding, I dialed Sarah’s number. The call went straight to voicemail. She should be on a plane, not at the bakery, but I dialed the landline, anyway. The phone at Sweet Reality rang and rang until the line started buzzing. Since the shop should be open, getting no answer made me even more nervous.

I was still standing in the kitchen, staring out over the pool, when Rachel entered wearing her swimsuit. “You okay? One of the producers said they heard yelling.”

“Yes. No. I don’t know.”

“Well, that clears things right up.” She tilted her head at me, eyes full of concern. “What’s wrong?”

“I don’t know. Justin called, but the reception was all wonky, and it sounded like there was some issue with his sister. I tried to call Sarah, too, but her phone’s off. I hope she’s okay.”

“Hold on a sec. He said there’s a problem with Sarah?”

“Yeah.”

“When are they supposed to be flying in?” Rachel pulled out her phone and started tapping. “Do you have the flight number?”

“He was supposed to fly out of Florida a few hours ago. When he called, I thought his flight landed early, but he was apologizing and sounding stressed. It doesn’t sound like they were on the plane. Should I go to the airport, just in case?”

Rachel kept tapping, a grim look on her face. Then she held her phone out to me. “No, Jen, I don’t think you should.”

I snatched her phone out of her hand. Then all the wind rushed out of me. She’d pulled up a news site. HURRICANE CARA STRANDS THOUSANDS. Below the headline, a picture showed a Florida airport, absolutely packed with people.

He said Cara, not Sarah.

“I’m sorry, Jen,” Rachel said, “but I don’t think Justin’s flying in tonight. According to this site, he might not be able to get a flight for days.”

“What about Atlanta? Can he drive to Atlanta? My family’s flying through there.”

She tapped a few more times, biting her lip. I found the answer on my phone right when a low murmur told me Rachel saw it, too.

All flights canceled. My entire family stranded.

 

 

My heart sank. Just when things finally started to go right, when I started to think the whole wedding might not be a complete disaster, my groom wasn’t even coming.

 

 


Be Sure to Check Out the First Two Books in the Reality Star series!

 

 

 

AMERICA’S NEXT REALITY STAR

 

Millennial Jen auditioned for a reality show hoping to win the $250,000 cash prize.  With puzzles, games, and more, this show is right up her alley. But when she meets co-contestant Justin, she finds herself questioning what really matters. Can she trust that his feelings for her are real? Or is it all a showmance put on for the viewers?

 

 

 

 


 

SWEET REALITY 

After her brief brush with fame, Jen’s ready to start a new life: New location, new roommate, new boyfriend, new business. But when a killer competitor threatens to put her new bakery out of business before the grand opening, Jen steps back into the spotlight to snag a show-stopping recipe. Can she save her bakery without destroying her relationship? 

 

 

Praise for the Reality Star series:

America’s Next Reality Star is one sweet, sexy brain-candy read! You won’t be sorry you indulged.” —Leah Marie Brown, USA Today bestselling Author 

 

“Smart, witty, and really freaking good, America’s Next Reality Star is a fun read that has you cheering from the first paragraph through the last page. Laura Heffernan spins an entertaining tale, expertly mixing the main character’s real life events with the reality show’s challenges. With enough drama to not only satisfy fans of reality TV shows, but readers who thrive on a good story with humor and romance, this book is a perfect read.” —Kerry Lonsdale, Wall Street Journal bestselling author

“Reality TV fans, this is your book! Laura Heffernan captures all the drama and over-the-top craziness in this fun and flirty romance.” —Amy E. Reichert, author of Love, Luck, and Lemon Pie

“If you like sweet contemporary romances with a reality show theme, then you are going to enjoy Heffernan’s Reality Star series. Her second book, Sweet Reality, takes place about 16 months after the first and features the same great couple, Justin and Jen. These two are likeable and relatable characters and there is more romance in this one than there was in the first. There is also an interesting cast of secondary characters. Heffernan does a wonderful job with character development and painting vivid scenes. There are also some cute and funny moments that makes this book a worthwhile and entertaining read. If reality shows are your guilty pleasure, give Heffernan’s Sweet Reality a try.”- RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

 

 

 


 

About the Author:

Laura is living proof that watching too much TV can pay off. When not watching total strangers get married, drag racing queens, or cooking competitions, Laura enjoys board games, travel, board games, baking, and board games. She lives in the northeast, where she spends far too much time tweeting about reality TV and Canadian chocolate.

 

 

Connect with Laura:

A Long Overdue Personal Post

So some of you may have heard me mention some life changes in social media over the last few months. I needed some emotional distance before I went into it. If you’re just here for the writing advice, feel free to skip this. It gets a bit long. Also, the words I’m sorry are stupid and please, save yourself the comment.

So Nanowrimo and I have a long history. I’ve failed more nanos than most people have even tried. I’ve been doing it annually to the point where it’s more of a tradition to me than Thanksgiving. I was ~3k out from the end at Thanksgiving, and closing in on the end when I get a message from one of my best local friends, C. We work together, he was literally the only person I knew in Philly when we moved here, and he’s become basically like my slightly younger brother over the years.

His fiance, A, partner for the last several years, was in the ER, with what was intially thought of as a Problem but not a Crisis related to a genetic liver issue he’d had diagnosed a couple years ago, but the effects stretch back to his young adult life even. Then the MICU. On life support.

And then I was there when A died.

Throughout the weeks that led to A’s death, there were ups where we thought he’d make it, and downswings where death seemed imminent. It was a roller coaster, and A’s family completely checked out, leaving the entire burden of decision on C’s shoulders, even at the last hours. I couldn’t let him face it on his own, so Owen and I made sure to do whatever we could to help. A handful of other friends did as well, but it’s so small vs what A meant to him, that I still don’t know to answer when people ask me how he is. They were as close as Owen and I are, and that mirroring is painful.

I warned my dayjob boss that with all this, I was likely to be short on patience and needing a bit more tolerance and patience with, as customer service calls it, soft skills. For those lucky enough to avoid working any customer service jobs, soft skills are things like word choice (Don’t say the wierd way they’re claiming their medical insurance works is unusual, just ask “what do you mean by that, because “they might feel judged”), tone (which is mostly sexist bullshit. I can say the exact same words as the guy next to me and be judged more harshly because if I have any inflection in my tone, it’s considered a flaw, not a feature), and other emotional markers which are, as a whole, biased towards the straight, white, male expression. My dayjob has a known issue (someday I’ll link you to their glassdoor reviews) with this. They give a lot of lip service towards transparancy, accommodation, and wanting people to succeed. It’s not reflected in their actions, with me or others.

Any death is going to shake you. Watching someone die, even in a controlled medicalized environment, is an experience I both wouldn’t wish on anyone but one I’m grateful I was there for. I can’t take solace in faith. I wasn’t raised with much of one, I consider myself agnostic pagan at best. But my mind inventoried so many details. The way the hospital staff acted before, during, and after. The way the body slowly turned cold and turgid. The way the equipment was handled. Despite asking for a priest or chaplain or other clergy of the appropriate faith, because of the time and day, no religious official was able to attend, and my friend was faced with losing the love of his life, the first really stable relationship he’d ever found. And I know it’s cheesy, but they were an amazing pair. They had what Owen and I have, that utter trust and reliance. And then, it wasn’t there.

A few days before A’s death, C moved into my office. It was intended as a stopgap. They were living out about an hour away in a New Jersey suburb apartment. Their lease was almost up and they would normally have been looking for a new apartment anyway. It made sense given that A would, at best, be in the hospital in Philly for a while and then maybe in a rehab and then maybe requiring frequent specialist visits, for C and A to move in with us. And mind you, this is a couple that, in retrospect, I would have been happy to have as roommates, especially knowing what I learned after the fact about how much A’s liver issues were impacting the day to day household stuff for them. Part of me regrets not having asked and pushed more, but C and A are both very private people, and so I also can’t blame myself, because they’d always only said what was relevant to situations at hand.

Now, it’s for the foreseeable future. Because of C’s health issues, he isn’t comfortable living alone. And frankly, right now?? I wouldn’t want him to. He’s, as you’d expect, devestated. They had wedding plans, even a finalized guest list. There are few things more tragic than what might have been, and never will be. There are so many things that, in the aftermath, I’ve gone, well damnit, why didn’t I know? And I know that part of grief is anger. The anger at what could have been and never was. Knowing things intellectually doesn’t make it less sucktastic in the meantime.

All this led to my examining my life, as death often does. And I realized, I have been on cruise control over the last few years, and not really working on building my life into what I want. I want to be a full time editor, and I’ve spent the last, oh, 15 years, forcing myself into the customer service role that chafes badly. I am not someone who can obsequeiese to nonsense. I had a woman tell me recently that “A doctor batman, it’s short for something but if you google dr batman and dehydration it comes up…. says that disabilities are caused by dehydration and my son is autistic and getting him to drink more water may cure him.” …Yeah, that abelist crap is utterly unscientific and moronic.

So I’m doing a few things. First, I’ve got a doctors appointment later this month to do the overdue health checkup on me and to also attempt to document the ADHD that I’ve suspected for a long time I’ve had but was never diagnosed when I was younger because I’m also high IQ (the two are actually linked, but back when I was originally evaluated, having a high IQ gave you a pass for ADHD, because the interaction of the two was not understood). Once that’s officially stated in paperwork form, I can get this PA form of medicaid called MAWD, and then I don’t need to have the dayjob to maintain health insurance. So I can, in theory, quit the dayjob, and have medical insurance covered. I am in a fortunate position where, if I ask them to, Owen and C can take on a lot of the day to day expenses. And I can focus on growing my business for 3-6 months, based on what I have saved and the effects of marketing when I have tried.

TL;DR: If you’ve thought about hiring a freelance editor, or me specifically, now is the time. Once I start doing the marketing, I plan to book in 2-3 clients per week, and while I always try to give existing clients priority, I can’t promise I’ll have the exact spot you want. I’ve dreamed for a long time about being able to hang this shingle without the limitations of a dayjob. I’m very much in favor of referrals, if you know someone who might want my editing services, please point them my way! I have a rare chance here to chase my dreams, and I’m going to do so while it’s available to me. In the long run, gods only know what will happen. But real talk, I’ve never been more ready, and it’s worth a try. I might fail, but I might fly, and worst case scenario, I get another dayjob.

Happy Book Birthday to the FANTASTIC @BRENDADRAKE and ASSASSIN OF TRUTH!! <3<3<3

Many years ago now, KT and I were talking, and she mentioned this Brenda she’d been chatting with. KT and I have been friends long enough even then to know that we generally end up liking the same kinds of people, so I started chattering with Brenda too. She was, at the time, working on the draft of the first one of this series, iirc, and so I critiqued it for her. It was really good, and I could see a lot of ways to develop it. We hit it off as crit partners and friends immediately, and I blame her (Ok, thank her, lol) for giving me the confidence to really attempt this crazy publishing journey. She was directly responsible for getting me one of my internships, and drafting me into Pitchwars, and encouraged me to set up Chimera. She does SO much for other writers, and hates asking anyone for anything in return. So hey, writing community? Send some love her way, and if you like the series, make sure to review it places!

Assassin of Truth_500

Assassin of Truth (Library Jumper’s #3)
Brenda Drake
Published by: Entangled Teen
Publication date: February 6th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Romance

The gateways linking the great libraries of the world don’t require a library card, but they do harbor incredible dangers.

And it’s not your normal bump-in-the- night kind. The threats Gia Kearns faces are the kind with sharp teeth and knifelike claws. The kind that include an evil wizard hell-bent on taking her down.

Gia can end his devious plan, but only if she recovers seven keys hidden throughout the world’s most beautiful libraries. And then figures out exactly what to do with them.

The last thing she needs is a distraction in the form of falling in love. But when an impossible evil is unleashed, love might be the only thing left to help Gia save the world.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

I didn’t want to kill the girl, so I hesitated to throw another globe at her. Squaring my shoulders, I got ready for her attack. When the girl got close enough, I threw a kick to her gut and slammed my fist against her jaw. She stumbled back against the frozen railing. It broke free, and she fell over the side, landing on a table below. Her body was half on and half off the table, her neck bent at an odd angle and the bones underneath pushed against her skin.

Is she dead?

A shimmery light left the girl’s body and flew to me, smacking my chest. I took a step back, expecting to turn into a human Popsicle, but nothing happened, only a chill that rushed across my skin and quickly ended.

“You killed her,” Veronique yelled as she stepped up on a chair and onto a table. She charged the length of it, heading for me.

I dropped to my knees and flipped through the pages of the gateway book. My heart galloped like a thousand racehorses on steroids. I needed to escape.

Where do I go? I can’t lead her to the others. I stopped on the photograph of the Boston Athenæum. Home? To Nana. Afton. No. Veronique knew where Nana Kearns lived. I couldn’t risk going there. I tossed over more pages.

Just then, Veronique pulled herself up onto the balcony and let loose another fire globe. The flames licked the air and smoke trailed it like a comet. The fire grazed my cheek, pulling a sharp gasp from my chest.

Her breaths were loud—panting. The sound of a siren drew nearer. We’d have company soon.

A feral look on her face, Veronique plucked a dagger from her shoulder sheath. A velvet bag, weighed down by something heavy inside, was tied around her waist.

The other Chiavi? I had to get them. I grasped the strap of my messenger bag.

“You can’t win, Gia. You’re weak. Unskilled. A sniveling child.”

“I beat your ass, and I took care of your friends.” Meaning the three Sentinels lying dead on the floor below us. I forced my eyes to stay on hers, acting brave, though their deaths were like an overweight barbell on my conscience.

Her step forward caused me to step back. “That was dumb luck,” she said. “This will take skill.”

She ran for me. I drew my sword and swung at her. She ducked, the blade barely missing her. Before I could get another swing in, she tackled me, our bodies smacking into the bookcase, my sword knocked from my hand.

A satisfied look crossed Veronique’s face right before she stabbed my upper arm with her dagger, her blade cutting across my cheek. A horrified scream rattled my throat. My knees buckled and thudded against the floor.

“Shit!” The pain shocked me. I wanted to roll into a ball on the floor, to have this end.

She’s going to kill me. I’m going to die.

Fear gripped me.

Then anger.

Fight, Gia! The voice in my head was strong and forceful. It pushed me. Pushed me to my feet.

Pushed me to take action.

Author Bio:

Brenda Drake is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. She grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY to #Pitchwars Mentor @maryannmarlowe!!! <3

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,

This looks SO fun! I’ve gotta grab this for my holiday relaxing, because I dunno about you, but whenever I’m stuck on a plane or have extra time off,  I go on a book binge! I anticipate I’ll be reading this, oh, somewhere over Kansas in my holiday travels! (I’m going to Hawaii over the christmas and new years holiday, and it’s going to be AMAZING. Planes result in me reading about a book/2 hrs, which is a GOOD problem to have!)

Release Date November 28, 2017

 

Synopsis

In this irresistible new novel by Mary Ann Marlowe, one woman’s up-close and sexy encounter with a tabloid sensation reveals the dizzying—and delicious—dilemma of dating in the spotlight . . .

Celebrities hold zero interest for photographer Jo Wilder. That’s a problem, since snapping pics of the stars is how the pretty paparazza pays the rent. So when Jo attempts to catch a money shot atop the broad shoulders of a helpful bystander, the only thing she notices about the stranger she straddles is that he’s seriously hot. Only later does Jo learn that he’s also Micah Sinclair—one of rock’s notorious bad boys…

Soon Jo is on the verge of getting fired for missing a Micah Sinclair exclusive. Until she’s suddenly being pursued by the heartthrob himself. But how can she be sure the musician’s mind-blowing kisses are the real deal? Her colleagues claim he’s a media whore, gambling on some free PR. But something has Jo hoping Micah’s feeling the same powerful pull that she does. A pull so strong, she can’t resist becoming his latest love, even if it means she might become the media’s latest victim . . .

“The perfect romantic comedy.” —RT Book Reviews

“Another sizzling, glitterati-filled story.” Booklist Online

“If you like wonderfully written, light, fast paced, swoon worthy moments, and chemistry so strong it jumps off the page, then this is the book for you.” Wit & Wonder Books

 

Available November 28, 2017 from Kensington. Pre-Order at all digital retailers:

Amazon | BN | Kobo | Google Play | Goodreads | BAM! | Audible

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Author Bio:

Mary Ann lives in central Virginia where she works as a computer programmer/DBA. She spent ten years as a university-level French professor, and her resume includes stints as an au pair in Calais, a hotel intern in Paris, a German tutor, a college radio disc jockey, and a webmaster for several online musician fandoms. She has lived in twelve states and three countries and loves to travel.

Connect with Mary Ann

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website | Newsletter Signup

Sneak Peak: A Crazy Kind of Love by #Pitchwars Mentor @maryannmarlowe

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This looks like such a fabulous take on the rockstar romance trope! And given how much fun her Some Kind of Magic was, well, we all know this is turning into one of my beach reads this winter. (What? I’m going to Hawaii this winter! It’s going to be AWESOME!)

 

Release Date November 28, 2017

Synopsis

In this irresistible new novel by Mary Ann Marlowe, one woman’s up-close and sexy encounter with a tabloid sensation reveals the dizzying—and delicious—dilemma of dating in the spotlight . . .

Celebrities hold zero interest for photographer Jo Wilder. That’s a problem, since snapping pics of the stars is how the pretty paparazza pays the rent. So when Jo attempts to catch a money shot atop the broad shoulders of a helpful bystander, the only thing she notices about the stranger she straddles is that he’s seriously hot. Only later does Jo learn that he’s also Micah Sinclair—one of rock’s notorious bad boys…

Soon Jo is on the verge of getting fired for missing a Micah Sinclair exclusive. Until she’s suddenly being pursued by the heartthrob himself. But how can she be sure the musician’s mind-blowing kisses are the real deal? Her colleagues claim he’s a media whore, gambling on some free PR. But something has Jo hoping Micah’s feeling the same powerful pull that she does. A pull so strong, she can’t resist becoming his latest love, even if it means she might become the media’s latest victim . . .

Praise for Mary Ann Marlowe’s Some Kind of Magic

“Marlowe makes a name for herself in this hilarious and sexy debut.”
Booklist

“Frisky, Flirty Fun!”
–Stephanie Evanovich, New York Times bestselling author of The Total Package

 

Available November 28, 2017 from Kensington. Pre-Order at all digital retailers:

Amazon | BN | Kobo | Google Play | Goodreads | BAM!

 

Excerpt

More people rolled in, either on foot or via personal motorcade. The feeding frenzy intensified as the level of fame increased. Some celebrities disappeared as quickly as possible. Others walked the runway, stopping to give the photographers ample time to capture them, only answering questions about whichever project they wanted to publicize.

By the time Micah Sinclair emerged from a black sedan, tall and confident, voices had reached fever pitch.

Micah, over here!

As his car drove away, Micah stood a moment to take in the scene. Rather than escape the fishbowl or pose for publicity shots, he shook hands with one of the reporters and chatted for a few seconds before he came my way. He tilted his head back, and his face lit up.

“Wally!” He crossed over, hand outstretched. “Haven’t seen you around in a while. I hope everything’s good at home.”

Wally actually put his camera down to shake Micah’s hand. I glanced around. Nobody was taking pictures. Was there something inherently un-newsworthy about a guy talking to the media? I lifted my camera and started shooting. The whirr of my camera caught Micah’s attention, and he turned away from Wally with a wide-eyed look of recognition.

He put his hand up against the flash and peered around his fingers. “Jo-Josie from Georgia! I didn’t expect to see you again so soon.”

Since he was facing me, I kept snapping pictures. Knowing that Andy would want me to at least get a comment if I could, I blurted out, “Hey, Micah. Are you here alone tonight?”

I knew I should have asked him something more specific, but he was smiling that cocky-bratty grin, and it was messing with my killer instinct. If I had a killer instinct.

“I am. Or at least I came here alone.” The cameras around us began to flash, but Micah kept his cool, eyes on me, as if we were still standing on the sidewalk in Park Slope, all alone. His lip curled up on one side, like he was gearing up for a challenge. “How’d you like to be my date?”

Now I dropped my camera, and it slammed into my gut. Oof. Damn if Andy hadn’t called it. I still couldn’t process the invitation. “Sorry, what?”

He gestured with his head toward the steps. “Come on. You’ll get better pictures inside.”

I threw a glance at Wally who looked as envious as Charlie Bucket when the last golden ticket was found. He nodded me forward. Now that fantasy had turned into reality, I realized I wasn’t remotely prepared to rub elbows with the same people I needed to exploit. “Sure. But are you sure it’s okay? Nobody will mind?”

“Eden will, but I owe you one. And besides I have an in with the guy throwing the party.” He offered me his elbow. “Come on. Don’t be shy. You might get that Pulitzer prize shot.”

I gathered my gear together. Micah stopped and looked down at me while I threw my camera bag and backpack over my shoulder and straightened up. At my full height, he only had a couple of inches on me. I put my hand around his proffered bicep, completely aware of the feel of his skin on my fingertips. He turned his blue eyes on me, and I forgot how to breathe.

The smile dropped from his face for a second, and he asked, “Everything okay?”

I sucked in a lungful of air and laughed off my nerves. “Entering enemy territory for the first time.”

His confident, charming smile returned, and he led me up the steps into the brownstone—my own personal Trojan horse.

Micah nodded at the burly man inside the door as we passed. “This is Jo. She’s with me.”

The bouncer shot me a look of grudging respect. “Good luck.”

As Micah pulled me along, I looked back, unsure what the bouncer meant by that, but he’d already turned his attention away, so I faced forward, glancing around wildly for any A-list celebrities.

And it hit me for real. I was on the inside.

Author Bio:

maryannmarlowe

Mary Ann lives in central Virginia where she works as a computer programmer/DBA. She spent ten years as a university-level French professor, and her resume includes stints as an au pair in Calais, a hotel intern in Paris, a German tutor, a college radio disc jockey, and a webmaster for several online musician fandoms. She has lived in twelve states and three countries and loves to travel.

Connect with Mary Ann

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website | Newsletter Signup

Cover Reveal: Asleep From Day by #Pitchwars Mentor @damiella

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 Just chiming in to say this book sounds like the kind of dark, twisty things I adore. Definitely putting on the high priority To Be Read list! ❤ -JamiAFD cover teaser

A Note from the Author:

Hi there! I’m super-excited to share the cover reveal of my debut novel, Asleep from Day. Before we get to the main event, I wanted to share a little about what inspired this book:

 

Back in the ‘90s, I came across this human interest news story that stuck with me ever since. A guy met a woman on a bus in Boston, they chatted for a few minutes, and the woman left before he could get her number. The guy was so taken with her and eager to find her, he plastered fliers all over the city with details of their brief chat (which, at one point, mentioned Kevin Bacon—insert Six Degrees joke here). Remember, this was in the 1990’s, back before Missed Connections and social media. He didn’t have online tools to help him find the woman. The fliers got so much attention, news outlets picked up the story and the guy ended up on TV talking about his search for this woman. I don’t remember if he ever tracked her down, but I was fascinated by the lengths this man went to for a woman he met for only a few minutes. It was romantic, sure, but also a little crazy and strange.

 

Many years later, the seeds of that story took root and grew into something different as I found my premise: What if a girl met a guy and spent a seemingly perfect day with him, then got hit by a car the next day and completely forgot him? What if, as she started to remember, she wondered if those memories were real? What if she had strange dreams and surreal experiences that made her worry she might be making him up and question her sense of reality? Add a 1990’s Boston setting and Asleep from Day was born.

 

It had to be the ‘90s, because technology makes it easier to find people and back then, it was easier to lose track of someone. It had to be Boston because I lived there during my college years and wanted this book to be my love poem to that city.

 

In terms of genre, here’s the thing: I like stories that aren’t one thing. I get more excited when a book or movie or show has layers of different genres. And I got more excited about this story when adding layers to it; I wanted it to be realistic yet surreal, romantic but twisted, with darkness and uncertainty to balance out the sweetness. It’s not psychological suspense or romance or mystery, but it has elements of all of those.

 

For the cover of Asleep from Day, I was hoping for something dreamy and a little strange, but still beautiful. I love the final design Terry Montimore came up with.

 

 

 

About the Author

MM author photo looking down

Margarita Montimore received a BFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. She worked for over a decade in publishing and social media before deciding to focus on the writing dream full-time. She has blogged for Marvel, Google, Quirk Books, and XOJane.com. When not writing, she freelances as a book coach and editor. She grew up in Brooklyn but currently lives in a different part of the Northeast with her husband and dog.

 

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 ASLEEP FROM DAY_COVER_1600x2400 FINAL

About The Book:

 

Astrid can’t remember the best day of her life: yesterday.

 

A traumatic car accident erases Astrid’s memories of September 9th, the day she spent with an oddly charming stranger named Theo. Ever since, she’s been haunted by surreal dreams and an urgent sense that she’s forgotten something important. One night, she gets a mysterious call from Oliver, who knows more about her than he should and claims he can help her remember. She accepts his help, even as she questions his motives and fights a strange attraction to him.

 

In order to find Theo and piece together that lost day in September, Astrid must navigate a maze of eccentric Boston nightlife, from the seedy corners of Chinatown to a           drug-fueled Alice-in-Wonderland-themed party to a club where everyone dresses like the dead. In between headaches and nightmares, she struggles to differentiate between memory, fantasy, and reality, and starts to wonder if Theo really exists. Eventually, she’ll need to choose between continuing her search for him or following her growing feelings for Oliver. Astrid might go to extreme lengths to find what she’s lost . . . or might lose even more in her pursuit to remember (like her sanity).

 

Asleep from Day will be released in paperback and ebook on January 10, 2018. Pre-order it here and be sure to add it to Goodreads.