Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Rebecca Lawrence Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 3/11/2024
  • Stuti Telidevara Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 3/20/2024
  • Agent Rachel Orr and Author Cathy Carr Guest Post and Lost Kites and Other Treasures Giveaway on 3/25/2024
  • Paula Weiman Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 4/8/2024
  • Hillary Fazzari Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 4/22/2024

Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated through the letter "H" as of 5/11/2023 and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for more information as I find the time to update more agent spotlights.

Wish Big Giveaway Hop


Happy Friday Everyone! Today I'm excited to participate in the Wish Big Giveaway Hop hosted by MamatheFox. I hope that winter is winding down wherever you live. I'm grateful that it's a milder end of January and February here in Michigan. It can get brutally cold here. It's been in the 40's, which feels really warm after 10 and below temperatures. And I'm really grateful I have a writing job that I can do from home now. I don't really mind the winter too much. I use it as a time to work on my novel and read more. What about you?

Book of Your Choice or Amazon Gift Card

I am offering a book of your choice that is $20 or less on Amazon. I’m looking forward to seeing what books everyone is looking forward to reading. 

If you don’t have a book you want, you can win a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

Giveaway Details

To enter, all you need to do is be a follower of my blog (via the follower gadget, email, or bloglovin’ on the right sidebar) and leave a comment by February 29th telling me whether you want a book, and if so, which one, or the Amazon gift card and your email address. Be sure to include your email address.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or other social media sites and/or follow me on Twitter, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry for each. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. The book giveaway is U.S. only and the Amazon gift card giveaway is International.

Upcoming Interviews, Guest Posts, and Blog Hops

Monday, February 26th I have an interview with debut author Megan Brennan and a giveaway of her MG graphic novel Kira and the (Maybe) Space Princess

Friday, March 1st I’m participating in the Lady Luck Giveaway Hop

Wednesday, March 6th I have an interview with author Rajani LaRocca and a giveaway of her MG fantasy Sona and The Golden Beasts and my IWSG post

Monday, March 11th I have an agent spotlight interview with Rebecca Lawrence and a query critique giveaway

Saturday, March 16th I’m participating in the Chasing Rainbows Giveaway Hop

Monday, March 18th I have an interview with debut author Anne Rellihan and a giveaway of her MG contemporary/mystery Not the Worst Friend in the World

Wednesday, March 20th I have an agent spotlight interview with Stuti Telidevara and a query critique giveaway

I hope to see you on Monday, February 26th!

And here are all the other blogs participating in this blog hop:

MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

How to Choose a Blog Tour Company by Author Sherry Ellis and Bubba and Squirt’s City of Bones & $50 Amazon Gift Card Blog Tour Giveaway

 


Happy Monday Everyone! Today I’m excited to participate in Sherry Ellis’ blog tour hosted by The Children’s Book Review to celebrate the release of her MG Bubba and Squirt’s City of Bones. I’m a fan of this series and a blogger friend of Sherry’s and am excited to participate in this blog tour. I have a fantastic sponsored guest post by Sherry to share with you.

Here’s a blurb of Squirt’s City of Bones:


Bubba and Squirt are back for another rousing quest as they travel through the mysterious vortex to Paris, France. It’s another wild adventure as they track down art thieves, encounter terrifying monsters, and discover the whereabouts of their missing father.

 

Will they make it out alive or join the rest of the skeletons in the City of Bones?

 

Coming Soon: The fourth book in the series, Bubba and Squirt’s Shield of Athena, will be released on May 7, 2024, and the final book, Bubba and Squirt’s Legend of the Lost Pearl, will be released in September 2024.

 

 Deciding on a Blog Tour Company by Sherry Ellis

I’ve been writing books for nearly twenty years. One of the things I’ve learned along the way is that blog tours coinciding with the release of a book are beneficial in getting the word out and generating sales.

What is a Blog Tour?

It’s when you take your book on a virtual tour hosted on various book blogs across the internet. Book


blogs are ones dedicated to posting articles about books and anything to do with the writing process.

These tours allow a book to gain more exposure to potential readers. Basically, they create an awareness of your book to hundreds of people without you ever having to leave home.

How to Choose  

·       See if the company has done tours for other books in your genre. If so, it may be a good match.

·       Look at the number of followers the host has. It’s a numbers game. More followers=more people who will learn about your book.

·       See if the host has a presence on other social media platforms. These will translate into additional opportunities to share the news about your books.

·       Look at previous tours and see the types of bloggers who participate. See if they’re a good mix of reviewers, interviewers, and article-posters.

·       Consider your budget. Tours can be expensive.  See if the company offers options that fit your budget.

·       Find out if the company has the length of tour you desire. Some are month-long. Others, only a week.

·       When you finally reach out to the company to schedule a tour, see how organized and responsive the contact person is. That’s usually a good indicator of how easy it will be to work with the person and have the tour go smoothly.

I am currently using The Children’s Book Review Virtual Awareness Tour. It’s dedicated exclusively to promoting children’s books.  I have also used MC Book Tours.

Book tours are a fun part of the marketing experience. I highly recommend trying one if you have a book release.

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Bookshop.org

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sherry Ellis is an award-winning author and professional musician who plays and teaches the violin, viola, and piano. When she is not writing or engaged in musical activities, she can be found doing household chores, hiking, or exploring the world. Ellis has previously published Bubba and Squirt’s Big Dig to China; Bubba and Squirt’s Mayan Adventure; Don’t Feed the Elephant; Ten Zany Birds; That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN; and That Mama is a Grouch. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

For more information about her work, she invites you to visit her website at www.sherryellis.org.

Giveaway Details

Enter the giveaway for the chance to win an autographed copy of Bubba and Squirt’s City of Bones and a $50 Amazon gift card!

Bubba and Squirt's City of Bones: Book Giveaway

Blog Tour Schedule 

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

The Children’s Book Review

Book Tour Kick-Off

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

icefairy’s Treasure Chest

Book Review of Bubba and Squirt’s City of Bones

Thursday, January 18, 2024

The Momma Spot

Book Review of Bubba and Squirt’s City of Bones

Friday, January 19, 2024

Life Is What It’s Called

Author Interview with Sherry Ellis

Monday, January 22, 2024

Crafty Moms Share

Book Review of Bubba and Squirt’s City of Bones

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

An article by Sherry Ellis

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Barbara Ann Mojica

Book Review of Bubba and Squirt’s City of Bones

Thursday, January 24, 2024

A Blue Box Full of Books

Book Review of Bubba and Squirt’s City of Bones and Little Free Library Drop

Friday, January 25, 2024

One More Exclamation

Book Review of Bubba and Squirt’s City of Bones

Monday, February 5, 2024

The Fairview Review

Book Review of Bubba and Squirt’s City of Bones

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Country Mamas with Kids

Book Review of Bubba and Squirt’s City of Bones

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Twirling Book Princess

Book Spotlight of Bubba and Squirt’s City of Bones

Thursday, February 8, 2024

My Reading Getaway

Author Interview with Sherry Ellis

Friday, February 9, 2024

Cover Lover Book Review

Author Interview with Sherry Ellis

Upcoming Interviews, Guest Posts, and Blog Hops

Friday, February 16th I’m participating in the Wish Big Giveaway Hop

Monday, February 26th I have an interview with debut author Megan Brennan and a giveaway of her MG graphic novel Kira and the (Maybe) Space Princess

Friday, March 1st I’m participating in the Lady Luck Giveaway Hop

Wednesday, March 6th I have an interview with author Rajani LaRocca and a giveaway of her MG fantasy Sona and The Golden Beasts and my IWSG post

Monday, March 11th I have an agent spotlight interview with Rebecca Lawrence and a query critique giveaway

Saturday, March 16th I’m participating in the Chasing Rainbows Giveaway Hop

Monday, March 18th I have an interview with debut author Anne Rellihan and a giveaway of her MG contemporary/mystery Not the Worst Friend in the World

Wednesday, March 20th I have an agent spotlight interview with Stuti Telidevara and a query critique giveaway

I hope to see you on Wednesday!

 


Debut Author Interview: Marc J Gregson and Sky’s End Giveaway and IWSG Post

Happy Wednesday Everyone! Today I’m excited to have instant New York Times bestseller Marc J Gregson here to share about his debut YA fantasy/dystopian Sky’s End. Dystopian and fantasy stories are favorites of mine, and this one sounds like a page-turner. I’m looking forward to reading it.

Here’s a blurb from Goodreads:

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Plummet into a kill-or-be-killed competition where a scrappy underdog hell-bent on revenge must claw his way to the top in this thrilling YA fantasy debut


Exiled to live as a Low, sixteen-year-old Conrad refuses to become heir to his murderous uncle. But Meritocracy is a harsh and unforgiving rule on the floating island of Holmstead, and when his ailing mother is killed by monstrous gorgantauns, Conrad cuts a deal to save the only family he has left. To rescue his sister from his uncle's clutches, Conrad must enter the Selection of the Twelve Trades.

Hunter, the deadliest of all the Trades, gains a fresh recruit with Conrad. Now he must endure vigorous training, manipulative peers, and the Gauntlet—a brutal final test that yields riches and status to whichever skyship crew kills the most gorgantauns. Forced to serve in the lowest of stations and unseen by all, Conrad overhears whispers of rebellion in the dark. Conrad had never known anything existed below the toxic black clouds of the Skylands . . . until now.

Grab your copy of Book One of the Above the Black trilogy today! This fast-paced series is reminiscent of Attack on Titan and will appeal to fans of Pierce Brown. It's a great pick for those who love action-adventure.

 


Before I get to Marc’s interview post, I have my IWSG post.

Posting: The first Wednesday is officially Insecure Writer's Support Group Day.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

The awesome co-hosts this month are: Janet Alcorn, SE White, Victoria Marie Lees, and Cathrina Constantine!

Optional Question: What turns you off when visiting an author's website/blog? Lack of information? A drone of negativity? Little mention of author's books? Constant mention of books?

I look at a lot of author websites when trying to decide which authors to feature at Literary Rambles. The thing that annoys me the most is when the author doesn’t have any way to contact them on the website other than contacting their agent or publisher or contacting them on social media. I don’t contact those authors. I think they should include an email address or a contact form so that bloggers, podcast hosts, and readers can contact them. You’d be surprised at how many authors don’t include this essential information on their website.

Another annoying thing is how hard Google Blogger has made it to comment on blogs, including mine, that use this platform to blog. I've had to switch to the pop-up windows option to make it easier for followers to comment. At least I don't get any emails from followers unable to leave comments on my blog. 

But it's annoying when other bloggers on Blogger don't use the pop-up window option because I can't leave a comment using Chrome, which is the browser I use. I have to copy the link to the post into Mozilla to leave a comment. It makes the whole process take more time, but at least I can comment. I'm grateful to Alex for suggesting this solution.

Interview With Marc Gregson

Hi Marc! Thanks so much for joining us. And a huge congrats on becoming an instant New York Times bestselling author.

1. Tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.

When I was a teenager, I was given a Halloween writing assignment. It was only supposed to be 2-3 pages long. I wrote a dozen pages about a killer squirrel. As I was writing, I felt a strange twist of excitement in my gut every time I sat down, and I realized just how much I enjoyed it.

2. That sounds like a scary story. Where did you get the idea for Sky’s End?

I’ve always wanted to write a story about a world set in the sky, and I love deadly competitions. After I read books like Hunger Games and Red Rising, I really wanted to do my own unique spin on it.

Your Writing Process

3. You’re a teacher and also have a family. What is your writing schedule, and how long did it take you to complete Sky’s End before you began querying agents? Will the process change with book 2 and 3 where you have publishing deadlines to meet?

So, I must be very regimented with my schedule, or I’ll never get it all done! I wake up early to write for an hour before work. Then, I go to work early so that when I return home in the evening, I don’t have to bring class work with me. This allows me to generally get 2-3 hours of writing in per day.

The original draft I sent to literary agents took me about seven to eight months to write. But I ended up doing massive revisions with my agent after I signed with her. My writing process for books 2 and 3 are the same as before I was published, just more condensed. This means I must be even more careful with my time and I’m often writing on the weekends.

4. It’s great that you’re so disciplined. Your book sounds like a real page-turner. How did you keep the tension and stakes rising throughout the story?

I constantly asked myself, “and then what happens?” Something had to always be happening in the story. In Sky’s End, all the characters have their own goals and motivations, and in many instances, their goals run in opposition to those of their peers. This creates a lot of friction and tension on the ship. While characters are trying to achieve their own goals and rise on the ship to become Captain, the entire crew simultaneously must deal with the threat of the giant sky serpents that they were sent to hunt. 

5. I really like that you’ve combined elements of a dystopian and fantasy world into your story. Describe your world-building process, and share tips on how to create a unique world like you did.

I sort of reverse engineer the process. I start with a goal in mind, but how it gets there is quite hazy and unclear. My only choice is to just explore it the best that I can. As I was creating the Skylands, I had this idea of a true Meritocracy where the strong would rise and the weak would fall. Furthermore, I liked the idea of developing this Meritocracy around a dueling system. If you were a great dueler, you had a chance to rise to a High status. But as I explored this idea, I ran into a problem. What about those who can’t duel? And can a society adequately run if the only people in power are also just physically impressive? What about the highly intelligent?

That’s where the Selection of the Twelve Trades came in. It fills in the gaps—and provides opportunities to some whose primary asset is their brain. That being said, there are plenty of people who are Selected by Trades who are also capable duelers.

My suggestion about worldbuilding is to constantly ask questions of your world. Why does each aspect of the world exist? Sometimes, it can simply be because, “Well, it’s cool.” But I’ve found that for deep worldbuilding, there must also be some logic behind it as well.

Your Journey to Publication

6. That’s great world building advice. Your agent is Heather Cashman. How did she become your agent, and what was your road to publication like?

Getting an agent was the biggest challenge. I queried Sky’s End on and off for several years. At one point, I had about a dozen agents that seemed really interested in Sky’s End. I thought it was going to happen. Then, one-by-one, the passes rolled in. Around this time, I became a teacher, so I wasn’t quite as active in the querying trenches—and I started on another book project.

Finally, three years after I started querying Sky’s End, Heather sent me an email at midnight asking to setup a time to chat. She was interested in Sky’s End and my other project. But she told me that Sky’s End would need some work. She told me that I needed to bring Sky’s End up to my current writing ability. So, after I signed with her, I revised Sky’s End and rewrote the beginning and ending. I changed the whole thing from past tense to present tense. We sent it out, and Sky’s End sold to Peachtree Teen in the first round of submission.

7. Share something you learned that made you a better writer from working with your agent or editor on revising your manuscript.

One thing that helped me was diversifying my sentence starters. Sky’s End is in first person, so naturally you’re going to have a lot of sentences that start with the pronoun “I.” Practicing beginning my sentences with other words constantly keeps me on my toes and forces me to be creative in how I approach my sentences.

Another thing my editor has said is to constantly lay challenge upon my characters. Never make it easy for them.

Promoting Your Book

8. Your book was released on January 2, 2024. What did you do to celebrate its release, and what are your future plans to promote your book?

I’d like to say that it was a week-long celebration! January 2nd was an amazing day, but a little bittersweet, because my winter break from teaching ended the same day my book released! Ha ha! No, I had a lot of fun. My students and I celebrated “Sky’s End’s birthday” at school. When I got home from work, my wife and I visited the Barnes & Noble stores in my area, and I was able to sign their stock. Now that was incredibly surreal.

Later that week, I had my launch event with the King’s English Bookshop. My parents flew in for the event, and my agent even showed up as a surprise. We had a great turnout despite the sudden snowstorm that began a couple hours before the event. Afterward, a bunch of my family and I went to a Mexican restaurant and celebrated.

Then I napped all weekend!

Some future plans for promotion include going to the Tucson Book Festival in March! I’m really excited for that. At some point, I’m also going to do a Instagram Live session to discuss spoilers with readers and start amping them up for book two, Among Serpents. That will likely happen in late Spring or early Summer.

9. What social media site have you connected the most with readers, teachers, and librarians? How have you connected with them?

In the beginning, TikTok was totally my social media headquarters. But after my wife posted Sky’s End’s cover reveal on Instagram and it went viral (5.9 million views), Instagram became my new place. I’ve had so much engagement on Instagram and met so many amazing people there.

As far as connection, I’m always trying to be genuine. I am incredibly proud of Sky’s End, so I hope my enthusiasm for the book is rather apparent in my posts. I also love hearing from readers.

10. I think I need to get on Instagram What are you working on now?

I recently sent back my edits for Among Serpents, the sequel to Sky’s End. Currently, I’m hard at work on the trilogy finale, Downfall. I’m so excited about this trilogy and cannot wait for readers to experience the full thing!

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Marc. You can find Marc at www.marcjgregson or @mjg_write on Twitter, Instagram, Threads, and TikTok.

Giveaway Details

Marc’s publisher is generously offering a hardback of Sky’s End for a giveaway. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower of my blog (via the follower gadget, email, or bloglovin’ on the right sidebar) and leave a comment by February 17th. If your email is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest. Please be sure I have your email address.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog and/or follow me on Twitter or Marc on his social media sites, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry for each. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. This book giveaway is U.S.

Upcoming Interviews, Guest Posts, and Blog Hops

Monday, February 12th I have a guest post by author Sherry Ellis as part of her blog tour and a blog-tour giveaway

Friday, February 16th I’m participating in the Wish Big Giveaway Hop

Monday, February 26th I have an interview with debut author Megan Brennan and a giveaway of her MG graphic novel Kira and the (Maybe) Space Princess

Friday, March 1st I’m participating in the Lady Luck Giveaway Hop

Wednesday, March 6th I have an interview with author Rajani LaRocca and a giveaway of her MG fantasy Sona and The Golden Beasts and my IWSG post

Monday, March 11th I have an agent spotlight interview with Rebecca Lawrence and a query critique giveaway

I hope to see you on Monday!

 

Heart 2 Heart Giveaway Hop

 


Happy Thursday Everyone! Today I'm excited to participate in the Hear 2 Heart Giveaway Hop hosted by MamatheFoxI hope you all survived the winter storms and frigid winter weather. I'm looking forward to March when it stays lighter longer, and we see hints of spring.  

Book of Your Choice or Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

I’ve got a lot of exciting newly released MG and YA book choices this month that you might like. You can also choose another book in the series by these authors or a book of your choice. You can find descriptions of these books on Goodreads. Here are your choices:









If you haven't found a book you want, you can win a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

 


Giveaway Details

To enter, all you need to do is be a follower of my blog (via the follower gadget, email, or bloglovin’ on the right sidebar) and leave a comment by February 15th telling me whether you want a book, and if so, which one, or the Amazon gift card and your email address. Be sure to include your email address.


If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or other social media sites and/or follow me on Twitter, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry for each. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. The book giveaway is U.S. only and the Amazon gift card giveaway is International.

Upcoming Interviews, Guest Posts, and Blog Hops

Wednesday, February 7th I have an interview with debut author Marc Gregson and a giveaway of his YA dystopian Sky’s End

Monday, February 12th I have a guest post by author Sherry Ellis as part of her blog tour and a blog-tour giveaway

Friday, February 16th I’m participating in the Wish Big Giveaway Hop

Monday, February 26th I have an interview with debut author Megan Brennan and a giveaway of her MG graphic novel Kira and the (Maybe) Space Princess

I hope to see you on Wednesday!

And here are all the other blogs participating in this blog hop:


MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.