Here are my current Giveaway Contests

Winter Wishes Giveaway Hop through January 31st

Tricia Skinner Query Critique through February 6th

Take Back the Block through February 6th

Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews and Guest Posts w/ Debut Authors & Query Critique Giveaways

Abigail Frank Agent Spotlight Interview on 2/10/2021

Pam Gruber Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 2/17/2021

Allison Hellegers and Sam Taylor Guest Post and Query Critique Giveaway on 2/22/2021

Caryn Wiseman and Merriam Sarcia Saunders Guest Post and Query Critique Giveaway on 3/15/2021

Jennifer Herrington Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 3/17/2021

Emily Fortney Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 4/14/2021

Agent Spotlight Updates

All agent spotlights and interviews have been updated as of 7/15/2020, and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for them to be fully updated again in 2023.

Hooked? Yea or Nay?

Please tell me why this does or does not work for you as an opening paragraph. Feel free to rip apart the writing and/or content, but please do so considerately.

Genre: Upper MG Fantasy.


Riley Goodman clenched his jaw a little tighter as his social studies teacher, Ms. Stye, fingered her collection of paddles and canes. A small sigh escaped her lips as she passed her imported tawse and lingered on the large paddle with the holes. Riley was familiar with all the inhabitants of the punishment cabinet.


Also, I know I don't have a lot of readers yet (note the optimism) but if anyone ever wants to send me a snippet of writing to post anonymously (or otherwise) for critique, please do so. My e-mail can be found on my profile page. Questions are also welcome.

Have a fab Tuesday! And thanks in advance.


  1. I'm hooked. I'm wondering what the heck he did, and I'm definitely hating that teacher.

    I'll send you a snippet to post. I'm working on the intro to DTY... trying to make it hookier.

  2. Um… well…

    Technically it’s good. It hooks and all…

    However… Corporal punishment in MG? I’m worried about the marketability of that. Really worried.

  3. Well, he gets out of it and then the story takes off in another direction, so there is no Corporal punishment actually detailed in the story. It's just part of building the world he presently lives in.

    However, I wasn't sure if it would turn people off from the story immediately, so I'm glad you said something.

    I'm on the fence about it.

  4. I love "punishment cabinet". So perfect!

    Something about clenched jaw AND small sigh escaping both in the first paragraph feels like a bit too much. I know it's two different character's actions, though.

    Also, maybe you could save the SS teacher's name for paragraph two?

    Just thoughts. But it is great and totally hook worthy. I love the last sentence the most!

  5. maybe a different word for fingered. like the premise. what is a tawse (maybe your word for the day :)

  6. Wow! It's amazing how much great advice can be applied to just one paragraph.

    I really like the points that have been made. I'm going to tweak some things and see how it reads. It will be better for it, I think.

    Jill - feel free to send me something to post whenever you want!