Welcome to Literary Rambles! While you’re rambling around and exploring the site enter for a chance to win:

Agent Jennifer Unger Query Critique and EMERGE Giveaway through May 7th

Children's Book Week Giveaway Hop through May 8th

WANDERING WILD through May 11th

Editor L. Diane Wolfe Critique Giveawayy through May 14th

EDITOR L. DIANE WOLFE GUEST POST AND CRITIQUE GIVEAWAY

Happy Wednesday Everyone! I have treat for you today. L. Diane Wolfe, a blogger friend who is also the owner of of Dancing Lemur Press and Freedom Fox Press, is here with a guest post on what she looks for in manuscripts and the type of manuscripts she's looking for.

Now here's Diane!
Thank you for hosting me today, Natalie.

Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. began over eight years ago and through all the growth, our mission statement remains the same:

Our trademark is not just a logo – the Dancing Lemur represents optimism, enthusiasm and belief. We strive to publish works that uplift and inspire, encouraging the reader to explore and discover while remaining morally grounded.

We are looking for stories of hope. Whether fiction or non-fiction, it must end on a positive note. We feel people need to know hope still exists in the world.

Of course, it all begins with the query. When I receive a submission, I admit the first thing I look at is the query letter itself. It must be properly written and provide all of the requested information - that way I know the writer can follow directions. The pitch needs to grab and move me. I need to look at everything and get the sense that the manuscript is great and we can market it.

Once I have part or all of the manuscript, the main thing I’m looking for is voice. It’s hard to define and nail, but I know the moment I see it. The characters’ personalities crackle off the page. It’s as if they are real and alive. A great voice can elevate an average story.

Of course, I’m also looking for a compelling story. It also has to be plausible. I do
characterization sessions at schools, so I’m picky about characters staying in character. The storyline needs to flow naturally and the characters acting as they should. And I need to identify with those characters, especially the main character. If I can’t relate or feel any empathy, I’ll lose interest.

And overall grammar matters. I can excuse a couple typos. But a manuscript with poor grammar yanks me right out of the story. Most often it’s a passive voice and the overuse of was/were, have/had, etc. Or it’s a lot of telling rather than showing. (Both were issues I struggled with as a writer in the beginning, so I really note them now when reading someone else’s work.) I can’t stress enough that writers need to run their work by critique partners or an editor. In fact, our submission guidelines require it.

We’re a small publishing company, so while we can’t compete with the big boys in New York, we try to do more than the average small publisher. All covers are created in house by an illustrator with almost 30 years experience, so our covers aren’t just stock images slapped together. We send out dozens of print review copies to pre-publication reviewers such as Publishers Weekly and Library Journal. We create marketing materials such as bookmarks and postcards for each book, and these are sent out both pre and post release. We do what we can to get books into libraries and bookstores and coordinate with our authors in their promotional efforts.

Last year, we expanded with an imprint, Freedom Fox Press. Created for the author who wants more control, we feel it offers the best of both worlds between traditional publishing and self-publishing. Royalties are much higher, but a few things such as our marketing efforts are scaled way back.

The genres we publish through Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. are non-fiction, science fiction, fantasy, young adult, new adult, and some middle grade. Our submission guidelines are here - http://www.dancinglemurpressllc.com/submission-guidelines/
Those genres are also accepted through Freedom Fox Press, along with mystery and romance. Those guidelines are here - http://www.dancinglemurpressllc.com/freedom-fox-press/

Right now, we are actively looking for science fiction and fantasy (adult and YA), Christian fiction/non-fiction, and paranormal romance.

We invite all of you to come dance with us!


L. Diane Wolfe owns Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. and is the author of seven books, including two non-fiction titles and a NA/YA series, The Circle of Friends. Known as “Spunk On A Stick,” Wolfe is a member of the National Speakers Association. She conducts seminars on book publishing, promoting, leadership, and goal-setting, plus she offers book formatting and author consultation. She travels extensively for media interviews and speaking engagements and contributes to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.


You can find Diane at:  
http://www.dancinglemurpressllc.com/ - Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
http://www.spunkonastick.net/ - Spunk On A Stick
http://www.circleoffriendsbooks.blogspot.com - Spunk On A Stick’s Tips
http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/ - The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Diane has generously offered a 5 page critique to one winner. The manuscript should be 12 point font and double spaced. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment through May 14th. If you do not need a critique, that's okay. Just let me know in the comments. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. This giveaway is International.

Here's what's coming up:

On Monday I have an interview with debut author Roshani Chokshi and a giveaway of her YA multicultural fantasy THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN

Wednesday next week I have an agent spotlight interview and query critique giveaway with Ronnie Ann Herman.

The following Monday follower Jessica Lawson will be back with her agent Tina Wexler with a guest post and query critique giveaway by Tina and a giveaway of WAITING FOR AUGUSTA, Jessica's new MG contemporary.

Monday the next week I have an interview with debut author Lindsey Klingele and a giveaway of her YA fantasy THE MARKED GIRL.

Hope to see you on Monday!

JESSICA TAYLOR GUEST POST AND WANDERING WILD GIVEAWAY

Happy Monday Everyone! Today I'm thrilled to have debut author Jessica Taylor here to share about the time leading up to the release of her adventure YA WANDERING WILD. It's a great post I learned a lot fro,  and her story sounds like a really interesting adventure.

Here's a blurb from Goodreads:

Raised by Wanderers, sixteen-year-old Tal travels the roads of the southern wild in her Chevy by day and camps in her tent trailer at night. Hustling, conning, and grifting her way into just enough cash to save her fifteen-year-old brother, Wen, from bare-knuckle fighting was once enough to keep her dreams of traveling the whole world at bay. Everything changes when the Wanderers set up camp in a little town called Cedar Falls.

There, Spencer Sway, a boy Tal tried to hustle at a game of billiards, keeps popping up into her life—and worst of all—into her scams. Buttoned-up, starched-and-ironed Spencer talks of places where Tal’s truck can’t take her. His promises of traveling across oceans are almost enough to shatter her love of the Wanderer life.


When a boy shows up at camp, ready to make good on a nearly-forgotten arranged marriage to Tal, Tal and Wen make a pact: No matter the cost, they will use their limitless skills of grift to earn the bride price and buy back her future—even if Spencer Sway gets used along the way.


Now here's Jessica!


The Best Parts of a Not-So-Easy Pre-Debut Journey

Wandering Wild will officially be published tomorrow! After several years spent with this book, I almost can’t believe those words. I’m overwhelmed that after all my struggles, I also have two books publishing through Dial/Penguin in the next two years, starting with a contemporary novel, A Map for Lost Girls. Now that Wandering Wild is finally making its way into the world, I’ve been reflecting on the time it took to get to this point. 

We assume that everything gets easy once you’ve sold a book. What nobody prepared me for was that Wandering Wild’s original publisher, Egmont, would close only a few months before my book was supposed to hit the shelves, leaving my book orphaned. Sky Pony and my original editor luckily came to my rescue, but it meant a long delay in my process. Now that a lot of the sadness and frustration are behind me, I’ve realized how grateful I am that my path to publication was a little longer and more winding than most of my writing friends. During my less-than-ideal pre-debut years, I’ve learned many valuable lessons. Most writing careers struggle to take off and all have lulls, so here are my glass-is-half-full reflections on what you can gain through your struggles.

1. You Meet Amazing People Along the Way

The best part of my slow publishing process is the many writing-community friends I’ve made along the way. Navigating the publishing world alone would not only be lonely but stressful. When I need answers to publishing questions that Google can’t provide, it’s a relief that advice is only an email or text away. Most importantly, during my roughest times, my friends have provided invaluable support and encouragement.

2. There are Benefits to Everyone Else Going First

A lot of people have asked me if it was hard watching my friends find success first. The answer is
unequivocally no. Through my friends, I’ve not only gained knowledge and experience, but I’ve also had many opportunities come out of my friendships and their connections. My friends have shown me tremendous generosity by inviting me to festivals and introducing me to other publishing professionals. I’ve never felt jealous, only grateful for my friends’ willingness to help me succeed.

3. Extra Time to Focus on Your Craft—It’s the Only Thing You Can Control

The most important lesson I’ve learned over the years is that there’s only one thing we can control in this business—the quality of our work. Because of contractual obligations or only being able to submit one project at a time, I’ve had a lot of time to devote to craft. These waiting periods have helped me to avoid the problem of rushing off a draft too early and have allowed me the time to produce my best work and become a better writer.

4. It Affords You the Time and Opportunity to Learn the Business

When I started writing, I had a limited understanding that agents sell books—and that’s where my knowledge of the business ended. By having a lot of time to learn and many friends willing to teach, my knowledge has grown exponentially—I now have a working understanding of royalty statements, foreign rights, film options, the role of an agent (beyond selling a book), and so much more. With three books coming into the world soon, I’m grateful to go into the process with more reasonable expectations and a clearer definition of what success means to me.

5. You Become the Person Everyone is Rooting For

Last year, at the SCBWI LA Summer Conference, I heard agent Jenny Bent advise writers that all writing careers have lulls and that writers should always try to “be the person everyone is rooting for.” That advice resonated with me, and when I commented to a friend about it later, she said, “Jessica, you are that person to us.” I was almost moved to tears to realize she and my other friends felt that way, and in that moment, everything I’d been through was worth the heartache.

Thanks for sharing your fantastic advice, Jessica! You can find Jessica at:

Twitter: @JessicaTaylorYA
http://www.amazon.com/Wandering-Wild-Jessica-Taylor/dp/1510704000/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461417623&sr=8-1&keywords=wandering+wild
J
essica has generously offered a copy of WANDERING WILD for a giveaway. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment through May 14th. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. This giveaway is for US and Canada.

Here's what's coming up:

On Wednesday editor L. Diane Wolfe from Lemur Press and Freedom Fox Press will be doing a guest post with a five page critique

Next Monday I have an interview with debut author Roshani Chokshi and a giveaway of her YA multicultural fantasy THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN

Wednesday next week I have an agent spotlight interview and query critique giveaway with Ronnie Ann Herman.

The following Monday follower Jessica Lawson will be back with her agent Tina Wexler with a guest post and query critique giveaway by Tina and a giveaway of WAITING FOR AUGUSTA, Jessica's new MG contemporary.

Hope to see you on Wednesday!

CHILDREN'S BOOK WEEK GIVEAWAY HOP




Happy Saturday  Everyone! I’m thrilled to be part of the Children's Book Week Giveaway Hop sponsored by Book Hounds. I’ve always wanted to participate in this one, but it never worked out. I've got lots of newly released YA books that I've read or want to read. There are SO many good ones right now. I'm also adding some middle grade books for my middle grade book lovers. If you’re reading a different book in the series listed or want a different book by one of the authors listed, I’m glad to get you that book instead as long as it doesn't cost more than the book I've chosen.

Don’t see a book you like? You can win a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card instead. I hope you'll all enter to win a book or gift card for yourself or as a gift for someone.

So here are your choices. Click on the title to read a blurb from Goodreads.

Here's the YA ones:

 




 




 




 

A COURT OF MIST AND FURY
FLAMECASTER
GLASS SWORD
SOLDIER
SWORD AND VERSE
THE CROWN'S GAME
THE GLITTERING COURT
THE MIRROR KING
THE RAVEN KING
THE STAR-CROSSED QUEEN
THE WINNER'S KISS

And here are your middle grade choices:

 
 

THE MORRIGAN'S CURSE
THE WOODEN PRINCE
RAYMIE NIGHTINGALE
RISE OF THE WOLF
WING & CLAW
THE LAND OF FORGOTTEN GIRLS

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

To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment through May 8th telling me the book you want to win or if you want to win the Gift Card instead. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. You must be 13 or older to enter. International entries are welcome as long as  The Book Depository ships to you for free.

Here's what's coming up:

On Monday I have a guest post by debut author Janet Taylor and a giveaway of her YA magical realism WANDERING WILD

Wednesday next week editor L. Diane Wolfe from Lemur Press and Freedom Fox Press will be doing a guest post with a five page critique

The following Monday I have an interview with debut author Roshani Chokshi and a giveaway of her YA multicultural fantasy THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN

Wednesday that week I have an agent spotlight interview and query critique giveaway with Ronnie Ann Herman.

The following Monday follower Jessica Lawson will be back with her agent Tina Wexler with a guest post and query critique giveaway by Tina and a giveaway of WAITING FOR AUGUSTA, Jessica's new MG contemporary.

Hope to see you on Monday!

And here's all the other blogs participating in this Blog Hop:



AGENT JENNIFER UNTER AND AUTHOR TOBIE EASTON GUEST POST & QUERY CRITIQUE & EMERGE GIVEAWAY

Happy Monday Everyone! First I've got news to share. Literary Rambles made Writers' Digest list of 101 Best Websites for Writers again!


I'm honored to be included with so many other fantastic blogs. As I take over the agent spotlights and am realizing the work needed to keep them updated, this award and hearing from you all how much these spotlights help in your agent searches inspire me on. And I'm glad Writers' Digest also recognizes the value of all these debut author interviews and guest posts where valuable advice is shared.

Today I'm excited to share a guest post with agent Jennifer Unter and debut author Tobie Easton to celebrate the release of Tobie's YA contemporary fantasy EMERGE.

Here's a blurb from Goodreads:

Lia Nautilus may be a Mermaid but she’s never lived in the ocean. War has ravaged the seven seas ever since the infamous Little Mermaid unleashed a curse that stripped Mer of their immortality. Lia has grown up in a secret community of land-dwelling Mer hidden among Malibu’s seaside mansions. Her biggest problems are surviving P.E. and keeping her feelings for Clay Ericson in check. Sure, he’s gorgeous in that cocky, leather jacket sort of way and makes her feel like there’s a school of fish swimming in her stomach, but getting involved with a human could put Lia's entire community at risk.

So it’s for the best that he’s dating that new girl, right? That is, until Lia finds out she isn't the only one at school keeping a potentially deadly secret. And this new girl? Her eyes are dead set on Clay, who doesn't realize the danger he's in. If Lia hopes to save him, she’ll have to get closer to Clay. Lia’s parents would totally flip if they found out she was falling for a human boy, but the more time she spends with him, the harder it is for her to deny her feelings. After making a horrible mistake, Lia will risk everything to stop Clay from falling in love with the wrong girl.


Now here's Jennifer and Tobie!

Tobie's Questions to Jennifer:

1.         There is a lot of advice online from authors about what to do during THE CALL with an agent, but I’d love to hear about it from an agent’s point of view.  Once you already love the writing, what are you looking for during THE CALL?

-                     I’m not looking for a type of writer, but I am looking for compatibility.  I have a certain way of submitting, as does every agent, and I want to be sure that the author understands it and is on the same page as me.  Some authors have a list of questions for me, some just want to chat about the process, but either way, I would encourage authors to use the phone call as an opportunity to get to know the agent.

2.         So much work goes into the publishing process!  What are some behind the scenes things you do both during submission and after a book has sold that an author might not see or might only hear about much later?

-           During submission, I’m talking up the book with the editors to whom I’m submitting.  After a
book sells, I do a lot of work on domestic and foreign sub-rights.  I meet with audio publishers, film agents, my foreign co-agents and am in constant contact with them both pre and post-pub.  I usually don’t discuss any of that with the author unless and until there is a bite on a subrights sale. 

3.         Once a book sells, so much is in the hands of the publisher.  What are some inventive things you’ve seen authors do for themselves that have helped sales and/or their careers?

-           Some of my authors make great swag for their book and not just bookmarks, but something that is meaningful to the book, like jewelry or a key-chain or the like.  Then they use that swag in a give-away with the book and readers eat it up!  I also find that authors who visit schools and libraries get their books listed on state/school lists which is so helpful, sales-wise.

4.         After so many years of experience, what are some factors you find important for a strong author-agent relationship?

-           I hope for an open dialogue between me and my author.  Authors can get disappointed by many things in the publishing process and I want them to come to me with their problems so that we can discuss them and then go to the publisher together to try to get any issues resolved. 

Jennifer’s Questions to Tobie:

1.        What are you looking to hear when you speak to an agent for the first time?  What attracts a writer to someone who will be their advocate?

I think the first thing writers need on a call with an agent is clarity toward the beginning of the call.  I’ve heard so many stories about writers who thought an agent was calling to offer representation when in fact the agent wanted to discuss a Revise and Resubmit or to offer the writer general advice.  While both of those are still awesome steps, they can be disappointing if a writer thinks she’s about to get an offer of representation.  So it’s great if agents do what you did, which is tell the author right upfront why they’re calling. 

Provided it is an offer of representation, a lot of writers are waiting to hear what the agent thinks of the manuscript and what changes the agent has in mind; this lets writers know if the agent really got the book and connected to it the way we’ve been hoping someone would throughout the whole query process.  It’s also really important for writers to think long term: Is this an agent who is interested in representing future projects  and who can offer career guidance?  Does the agent represent the different genres the writer writes?  Those are important things to consider, as are the agent’s track record, experience, and excitement.  I loved that during our call, when I mentioned I was in my twenties, you said, “So many books ahead!” and you sounded so genuinely excited! It made me realize we were on the same page about wanting to work together on both Emerge and future books!

2.      How do you choose an agent to query?  Is it word-of-mouth, searching the Internet, talking to other writers?

I’m sure for some people, recommendations can come from other writers, but I was very new to publishing, so I did all my research online.  I read every agent interview I could (Literary Rambles was SO helpful, which is why I was excited to do this post!).  I also looked up agents judging writing contests (because I knew they were actively acquiring) and agents who posted on Twitter about what they were seeking.  I found you in an interview you’d done for Writer’s Digest—I’m so glad I read that interview and decided to submit!

3.      Once you have an agent, what are author’s expectations for what the agent will be doing for them?

Writers who have read about the process are expecting to work with an agent on their manuscript, then go on submissions once it’s as polished as possible.  We also know a good agent will stand up for our interests in contract negotiations and explain any publishing legalese we aren’t familiar with.  Other than that general idea, the process is often murky to us (especially since each agent does things a little differently).  That’s why I really appreciated that you explained how many editors we were submitting to at a time, who they were, and approximately how long before you’d check in with them.  It’s also why I still email you questions about film rights, foreign rights, and other specific areas that are somewhat mysterious to debut authors.  Good agents are invaluable because they really see the whole picture and have the experience and the skills to advocate for the author.

Thanks for all the advice, Jennifer and Tobie! You can find Tobie at:
Pre-order/Buy links:
Mysterious Galaxy: www.mystgalaxy.com/book/9781942664918

And you can find Jennifer at:

https://twitter.com/JenniferUnter

Tobie's publisher has generously offered an e-book of EMERGE for a giveaway and Jennifer is offering a  query critique. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment through May 7th. If you do not want to be included in the query critique giveaway, please let me know in the comments. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter either contest.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. Both giveaways are international.

Here's what's coming up:

On Saturday I'm participating in the Children's Book Week Giveaway Hop.

Next Monday I have a guest post by debut author Janet Taylor and a giveaway of her YA magical realism WANDERING WILD

Wednesday next week editor L. Diane Wolfe from Lemur Press and Freedom Fox Press will be doing a guest post with a five page critique

The following Monday I have an interview with debut author Roshani Chokshi and a giveaway of her YA multicultural fantasy THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN

Wednesday that week I have an agent spotlight interview and query critique giveaway with Ronnie Ann Herman.

The following Monday follower Jessica Lawson will be back with her agent Tina Wexler with a guest post and query critique giveaway by Tina and a giveaway of WAITING FOR AUGUSTA, Jessica's new MG contemporary.

Hope to see you on Saturday!


LAUREN OLIVER INTERVIEW AND THE SCREAMING STATUE BLOG TOUR GIVEAWAY

Happy Wednesday Everyone! Today I’m beyond thrilled to have one of my favorite authors, Lauren Oliver, here to help celebrate the release of THE SCREAMING STATUE, book 2 in her MG The Curiosity House series. And her co-author H.C. Chester is here too! The series sounds fantastic, and I can’t wait to start it.

Here’s a blurb from Goodreads



In this second book in the exceptional Curiosity House series by bestselling author Lauren Oliver and shadowy recluse H. C. Chester, four extraordinary children must avenge their friend’s death, try to save their home, and unravel the secrets of their past . . . before their past unravels them.

Pippa, Sam, Thomas, and Max are happy to be out of harm’s way now that the notorious villain Nicholas Rattigan is halfway across the country in Chicago. But unfortunately their home, Dumfreys’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders, is in danger of closing its doors forever.

But their troubles only get worse. The four friends are shocked when their beloved friend, famous sculptor Siegfried Eckleberger, is murdered. As they investigate, they find clues that his death may be tied to the murder of a rich and powerful New York heiress, as well as to their own pasts.



Hi Lauren and Chester! Thanks so much for joining us. And Lauren, I am so excited and honored that you’re on my blog.



These questions are for Lauren:

1. I read how you got the idea for this series and the challenges of contacting H.C. Chester to collaborate with you. Share about this came about. It’s such an interesting story.


A few years ago, I was in Paris  with my dad when we came upon a set of weird antique postcards
being sold at one of the bouquinistes (book stalls) along the Seine. They all purported to show bizarre exhibits that had once belonged to the same museum: Mr. Dumfrey's Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Marvels.  I was immediately enthralled. I tracked down information about the long-shuttered museum and found that many of the original collections had gone into private hands, and that a large concentration of the strange antiques were owned by one H.C. Chester. And the rest, as they say, is history. 


2. You’re an incredibly talented writer who has written MG, YA, and adult stories. Share what you find unique about writing for a MG audience and a few tips for aspiring authors.


Thank you! What I love about writing for middle grade is the immense imaginative freedom it affords you as an author. Kids will follow you anywhere, absolutely anywhere, as long as they can be made to believe. And I love being able to be humorous, which is something I don't always get to do in my teen and adult books.

3. You have three main characters—Philippa, Sam, and Thomas—from THE SHRUNKEN HEAD, the first book in the series, and are introducing us to Max in your new book. Is one of them your favorite and why?
Max actually shows up in the first book too! Truthfully, I love them all for different reasons. One of the reasons I was so excited about this series is because it gave me the opportunity to write a true ensemble. 


4. Marketing can be challenging, especially for middle grade books and if the author is not as well-known as you. What advice do you have for newer authors trying to promote their MG books?


Believe me, it's challenging for me too! I do a ton of school visits. Grassroots, boots-on-the-ground, whatever you want to call it: the key is getting to where the kids are.



This question is for H.C. Chester


1. From reading about you, I know you value your privacy and are fairly reclusive. What was it like working with Lauren on this book and why did you feel it was important to share this story with the world?

To address the initial part of your query first: Ms. Oliver proved so delightful to work with that, were it not for my lifelong and instinctive aversion to interacting with other human beings, I might, in the future, be tempted to enter into a collaboration with another writer, though I very much doubt it. 
As for your second interrogatory: I confess that it was Ms. Oliver who persuaded me that the saga of the four extraordinary child performer's of Dumfrey's Dime Museum deserved to be shared with a wider audience. Had it not been for her highly persuasive powers, I would have reserved the story exclusively for the entertainment of my most treasured and appreciative audience. I refer of course to my faithful companion, Trudy. 

I also get to interview one of the characters in Lauren’s series. My character is Thomas, also known as The Rubber Band Boy.

Hi Thomas! Thanks for stopping by!
Thank you for having me.

1. How did you get the name The Rubber Band Boy?

Oh, well, it was Caroline and Quinn--the albino twins--who came up with it, likely because I'm just a little...twistier than other people.


2. Which one of the other kids living with you in the Curiosity House is your best friend and why?



Probably Pippa (but don't tell her I told you). 

3. I’ve read that you love adventure. Share a bit about one of your favorite adventures.

Well, one time one of Mrs. Groenevelt's cats, Barnaby, got stuck in a storm gutter, wedged in one of the smallest pipes. Sam ripped the iron cover right off and I shimmied down and managed to squeeze into the pipe and coax Barnaby out with tuna flakes. That was exciting.

You can find more information about this series at TheCuriosityHouse.com

Yesterday's blog stop was at Kiditerati
Tomorrow's blog stop is MiddleGradeNinja.

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday was started by Shannon Messenger. You can find the participating
blogs on her blog.

Lauren Oliver has generously offered a copy of THE SHRUNKEN HEAD, the first book in this series, and a deck of the Curiosity House card deck for a giveaway. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment through April 30thIf your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. This giveaway is for U.S.

Here's what's coming up:

Next Monday I have a guest post with debut author Tobie Easton and her agent Jennifer Unter and a critique giveaway by Jennifer and a giveaway of EMERGE, Tobie's YA contemporary fantasy.

On Saturday next week I'm participating in the Children's Book Week Giveaway Hop.

Monday the next week I have a guest post by debut author Janet Taylor and a giveaway of her YA magical realism WANDERING WILD

Wednesday that week editor L. Diane Wolfe from Lemur Press and Freedom Fox Press will be doing a guest post with a five page critique

The following Monday I have an interview with debut author Roshani Chokshi and a giveaway of her YA multicultural fantasy THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN


Hope to see you on Monday!

DEE ROMITO GUEST POST AND THE BFF BUCKET LIST GIVEAWAY

Happy Monday Everyone! Today I'm excited to have debut author Dee Romito here to share about her contemporary MG THE BFF BUCKET LIST. It sounds like a story many of you will like (me too).

Here's a blurb from Goodreads:

Ella and Skyler have been best friends since kindergarten—so close that people smoosh their names together like they’re the same person: EllaandSkyler. SkylerandElla.

But Ella notices the little ways she and Skyler have been slowly drifting apart. And she’s determined to fix things with a fun project she’s sure will bring them closer together—The BFF Bucket List. Skyler is totally on board.

The girls must complete each task on the list together: things like facing their fears, hosting a fancy dinner party, and the biggest of them all—speaking actual words to their respective crushes before the end of summer. But as new friends, epic opportunities, and super-cute boys enter the picture, the challenges on the list aren’t the only ones they face.

And with each girl hiding a big secret that could threaten their entire friendship, will the list--and their BFF status--go bust?


So here's Dee!
 


MY PLACE ON THE SHELF



Almost five years ago, I met a writer in the slush of an online contest (after politely shouting something to the effect of, “Where is this writer?! I need to read the rest of the story!” on Twitter). I had no idea she would become one of my most trusted critique partners and a close friend. When she got her first book deal the next year, I sent her this picture from the bookstore, with the caption, “This is where your book will be. J

That simple picture represented the realization of her dream.

The topic of book placement came up again recently when I got together with three amazing writer
friends for dinner. This of course turned into getting coffee and a trip to Barnes & Noble because writers need to be around books. We talked about everything from family and kids to writing and publishing. And at some point in the conversation, one of the girls mentioned picturing her book on the shelf and we all jumped right in to say we’d done it too.

I remember so clearly, being a kid who wanted to someday walk into a bookstore and see my name on the cover of a book, with my words and ideas inside. It didn’t drive my career choices—I went to school for Travel and Transportation Management, went back for an Education degree, and then became a teacher—but it was a dream that kept popping into my head until I finally stopped and said, “You know, I’ve always wanted to write a book.”

So the four of us went around the store and took pictures of where our future books would be on the shelves. Two of the girls aren’t at the publishing stage yet, but they will be. Because they’re talented, creative, and determined to reach their goals. Another will have her first book out in a few months. And one particular spot on the shelf will be filled with my debut middle grade novel, THE BFF BUCKET LIST, on May 3. I still cannot believe it.
 

And while it might actually be on the new releases shelf (it’s yet another challenge as an author to make it over to a long-term spot), simply knowing where it goes makes this whole experience pretty incredible. And boy will it be in some pretty good company. (Yup, right next to J.K. Rowling, and that’s Rick Riordan to the left. My book knows how to pick its book friends.)

Those ladies who went on that picture hunt with me, wrote their own posts about what it meant to see their book spot. (Check out http://nicoleatone.com/2016/03/17/my-space-on-the-shelf/, http://www.vanfamilyfour.blogspot.com/2016/03/my-place-on-shelf.html, and http://thedavisgirl.blogspot.com/2016/03/a-is-for-authorstition-thisismybookspot.html to get inspired.)
No matter where you are in your writing—just starting out, on your way to taking the querying leap, waiting it out in submissions, or getting ready for your book release—go take a look at where YOUR place on the shelf will be. And if you’re sneaky enough, snap a photo and share it with #ThisIsMyBookSpot so we can all cheer you on.

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Dee! You can find Dee at:



Marvelous Middle Grade Monday was started by Shannon Messenger. You can find the participating blogs on her blog.

Dee has generously offered an ARC of THE BFF BUCKET LIST for a giveaway. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment through April 30thIf your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest.


If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. This giveaway is for U.S.

Here's what's coming up:

On Wednesday I'm participating in NY Times bestseller  author Lauren Oliver's blog tour and interviewing her (Pinch me! I'm so excited!) for her new MG THE SCREAMING STATUE with a giveaway of the first book in this series.

Next Monday I have a guest post with debut author Tobie Easton and her agent Jennifer Unter and a critique giveaway by Jennifer and a giveaway of EMERGE, Tobie's YA contemporary fantasy.

On Saturday next week I'm participating in the Children's Book Week Giveaway Hop.

Monday the next week I have a guest post by debut author Janet Taylor and a giveaway of her YA magical realism WANDERING WILD

Wednesday that week editor L. Diane Wolfe from Lemur Press and Freedom Fox Press will be doing a guest post with a five page critique

The following Monday I have an interview with debut author Roshani Chokshi and a giveaway of her YA multicultural fantasy THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN

Hope to see you on Wednesday!