Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Bethany Weaver Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/26/2024
  • Rebecca Williamson Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 7/8/2024
  • Sheila Fernley Agent Spotlight Interview, Critique Giveaway, and One-Hour Zoom Call on 7/29/2024
  • Erica McGrath Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 8/12/2024

Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated through the letter "K" as of 3/28/2024 and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for more information as I find the time to update more agent spotlights.


Today I'm participating in a Random Act of Kindness Blitz, have a fabulous interview to share with you, and three books to give away.

First, I'll announce the winner of WHAT SHE LEFT BEHIND. I've got a surprise. Simon Pulse just sent me another book, so there's two winners. Yay!

The winners are VIVIEN and RACHNA!

Congrats! E-mail me your addresses so I can send you your book.

A smile. An encouraging word. A thoughtful gesture. Each day people interact with us, help, and make our day a bit brighter and full. This is especially true in the Writing Community.  

Take a second to think about writers you know, like the critique partner who works with you to improve your manuscript. The writing friend who listens, supports and keeps you strong when times are tough. The author who generously offers council, advice and inspiration when asked.

So many people take the time to make us feel special, don't they? They comment on our blogs, re-tweet our posts, chat with us on forums and wish us Happy Birthday on Facebook.

Kindness ROCKS!

To commemorate the release of their book The Emotion Thesaurus, Becca and Angela at The Bookshelf Muse are hosting a TITANIC Random Act Of Kindness BLITZ. And because I think KINDNESS is contagious, I'm participating too!

I'm picking Shannon O'Donnell who is a great friend who is always willing to share advice on blogging and her publishing contacts with me so I can try to get you guys more ARCs. And when I needed an extra beta read, she immediately offered to do it without me asking.

Shannon, for my RAOK gift, I'm sending you a $20.00 gift certificate to Amazon because I know you love to buy books. 

I really appreciate Shannon who blogs  at Book Dreaming. If you have a minute, please stop in and tell her how awesome she is!

Do you know someone special that you'd like to randomly acknowledge? Don't be shy--come join us and celebrate! Send them an email, give them a shout out, or show your appreciation in another way. Kindness makes the world go round. :)
Becca and Angela have a special RAOK gift waiting for you as well, so hop on over to The Bookshelf Muse to pick it up.

Now onto my interview.

Today I’m excited to interview Christina who blogs with Kristi at The Story Siren. If you’ve never read their blog, you’re really missing out because they have a fantastic book review blog. Kristi, whose blog this is, has done so much to promote middle grade and YA books, including starting her debut author challenge where bloggers commit to reviewing at least 12 debut books. I love their blog and recommend you check it out here.

Hi Christina. Thanks so much for joining us.

1.  Please tell us a little bit about yourself, your school, and what you like to read. 

My school is Avilla Elementary School in Indiana (same town as Kristi). Next year I will be going into East Noble Middle School in Kendallville. I like to read recommended books because even if I don’t think it will be good and someone recommends it, I will give it a shot. I like a variety of books, but most of the books on my bookshelf are paranormal or within that genre. I’m 12 and I like to talk a lot. My friends and I are obsessed with The Hunger Games. We all have the little figurines of the tributes. I’m trying to get all twenty-four tributes. J

2.  My daughter's pretty obsessed with The Hunger Games too. And all the books I read are from recommendations of friends or book review bloggers like Kristi and you. Before you started blogging, how did you find out about the books you read? What about new books coming out? 

I first started finding out about books at my library because every summer they have a summer reading program. Since I was going into 6th grade, they considered me a “teen reader.” Most of the books in the lists were series, so I got into teen books through summer reading. My mom has an Amazon.com account and for book recommendations, books in series come up, so that’s how I find out about books coming out.

3.  You sound like an advanced reader so I can see you being drawn to teen vs. middle grade books. Tell us how you got to know Kristi and started blogging with her. 

Well, my Grandma posted the link to her blog on my Facebook page so I decided to check it out. Then I found out she lived in the same town as me, which I thought was cool. I wrote her a letter and she wrote back, asking if I would like to be a guest blogger on The Story Siren. I wasn’t sure how to respond because it was a big opportunity. We started sharing emails and we arranged to meet at the library in our town. I decided then that I would like to be a guest blogger and I read some of the books she gave me and wrote reviews. I still haven’t read all the books she’s given me, but I plan to. Plus, I knew that if I didn’t become a guest blogger, I’d regret it. So, when I write a review I email them to her and she posts them up. J

4.  Wow! You have an awesome grandma. And I can totally relate to the feeling of not wanting to miss an opportunity. That's how I felt when Casey posted that she was looking for a blog partner. It's such a great opportunity that I'm glad you didn't pass it up. Me too. 

How has blogging changed what you read, if at all? What books are you waiting to be released? 

Oh man! Blogging has changed my life so much and the books I read. Before I started blogging, I didn’t read that much. I started to actually take an interest in reading books in the summer of 2011. I read 16 books that summer. At that time I thought that was a lot, but now that I think about it, it’s not a lot compared to what I’ve read now. Now, most of the books I read I usually find on blogs, or I admin on a page on Facebook called “Confessions of a Bookaholic” and if I need a book to read or can’t decide what book to read, I’ll ask the people who like it and they give me really great recommendations.
The two books that I don’t think I can wait much longer for are Insurgent by Veronica Roth and City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare, and both come out next month!! I also can’t wait until Clockwork Princess too, but that a loooong ways away.

5.  I've had a similar experience since I started blogging. I always read a lot but now what I read is governed a lot by who I'm interviewing here or what I want to give away. And I just got Insurgent from the library. Do you buy most of your book, receive ARCS, or get them at the library? How often do you go to a bookstore? 

I buy, well my mom buys me books quite often, but my bookshelves have become fuller because of Kristi. She’s sent about 30 books and I appreciate that so much. So most of the books I own have been given to me from Kristi. I used to go to the library a lot, like 3 times a week, but now I never go. I go to a bookstore maybe every Sunday. It all depends because my grandma will take me to Barnes and Noble sometimes after church on Sundays, but not every Sunday because their books are EXPENSIVE!!!

6.  I'd love to have Kristi send me some books. She has such good taste in books. And I don't go to the library as much either. I do miss that. I know you must read some blogs because you found Kristi and The Story Siren. Which ones do you read regularly? Do you read any teen book blogs, author blogs, or author or publisher websites? Become a fan of an author on Facebook? Why? 

I have a couple blogs that I keep up on everyday because I sign up to get e-mails of their posts. So, I look at a Mortal Instruments Series blog (catch the theme? I love those book!) I also look at the YA Sisterhood. I like a lot of blogs and authors on Facebook. I like Willow Cross, Michelle Warren, and Lauren Kate.

7.  Have any of your teachers recommended any blogs or websites to your class or to you? 

No, not really. They don’t really do that, but I think they should because we have so much technology. My school corporation just gave kindergarten through first grade iPod touches, the second through fourth graders get iPads, and fifth grade through high school get laptops. I think they should recommend blogs to my class though.

8. Wow! That's awesome that your school gives kids all that technology. I wonder if your language arts teachers in middle school will start suggesting blogs or websites for you to check out. You'll be able to recommend some to your teacher, including your own blog. I bet they'll be impressed.

Are there things your favorite authors could do that would make you more likely to visit their website, their blog, or become a fan on Facebook? 

Oh yes! If the second book came out less than a year from the first one!! I know they can’t do that but there have been some books that I have read and they just leave you hanging and you’re like “What?!?! I need the second book now!” and it doesn’t come out for like two years. If I’ve read their book and I love it, then I’ll definitely get on their blog and follow them and like them on Facebook.

9.  That's great to know that you'll check out the author's blog and Facebook page. Most of the kids I've interviewed wouldn't do that. Have any authors visited your school? Who? Is there anything you’d recommend that an author do to make their presentation more interesting to you and other kids at your school?

No, I wish though. The kids at my school don’t read as much as I do and when I tell them how fast I read a book, they stare at me like I’m an alien. J They should make a book trailer for their book, which most books do have those, and show it at their presentation. Then, maybe then more kids would read it. J

Don't worry, you're not weird. You're really cool. And I found my daughter and her friends really started getting excited about books in middle school and now high school. So there's hope your friends will catch up to you. Thanks Christina for sharing all your advice. 

Next here are the books I'm going to give away today. If you click on the title, you can read the description from Goodreads.

First I'm giving away Lissa Price's debut book STARTERS.

Lissa Price has created an amazingly unique dystopian world filled with mystery and hard choices. This world has only kids under 20 years old and who have no rights and people 60 and older who live to such long lives that they do all the work because everyone else has died. And the fact that the people older than 60 can rent a teenager’s body is one of things that makes the story so different.

Callie is such a great character—very independent yet vulnerable in her fierce protectiveness of her younger brother Tyler. And it’s because of her love for Tyler and her desire to save him that she decides to let someone rent her body. As creepy as the idea of renting your body is, it was fascinating seeing all the secrets and mysteries Callie uncovers while she let an elder rent her body.  I couldn’t put the book down. It was so full of twists and mysteries I wanted to figure out. I can’t wait for the sequel.

Second up is TOUCH OF POWER by Maria Snyder. I’m a huge fan of Maria Snyder and was so excited when I won Touch of Power. Avry is a strong, compassionate main character who has been living on the run alone. When she’s kidnapped by Kerrick and his band of helpers Loren, Quan, Flea, and Belen, they want her to heal Prince Ryne. But there’s a problem. She hates him and refuses to cooperate. 

It was fascinating watching her relationships change with her captors as they journey across the Nine Mountains to where Prince Ryne is hidden. The world Maria Snyder creates is rich and there are many mysteries uncovered, including Avry’s relationship to her family, who is good in the fifteen kingdoms, why she hates Prince Ryne, and who Kerrick really is. This is another one that I’m anxiously awaiting the sequel.

And the last book is FRACTURE by debut author Megan Miranda.

This was an interesting mix of contemporary with perhaps a slight paranormal ability. I found this to be a really fast read. Delaney falls into icy pond while walking with her best friend Decker. He pulls her out but not before she dies. And she stays dead for eleven minutes. When she comes too, everyone is amazed that she shows no effects of being brain dead. And they try to go back to normal.

But Delaney knows something's different. She now can sense death. And she meets Troy, a 19-year-old boy who also survived a coma. I enjoyed watching Delaney take charge of her life in ways she hadn't before as she tries to come to terms with what it means to come back from death and figure out where Troy and Decker fit into her life.

So there will be three winners. 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 on Christina's interview by midnight on May 28th. If you have a preference on what book you'd like, leave that in the comment too. I’ll announce the winner on May 30th. If your e-mail is not on Blogger, please list it in your comment. International entries are welcome.

Want to win a fabulous YA mystery with a touch of paranormal or an awesome new middle grade mystery series? Enter my giveaway for Kim Harrington's new books. There's going to be 3 winners. The link is at the top of the blog.

Here's what's coming up next.  On Wednesday, I'm participating in debut author Misty Provencher's blog tour for her debut book CORNERSTONE and giving away two copies of her books. Then next Monday I'm interviewing debut author Marissa Burt and giving away an ARC of her middle grade fantasy STORYBOUND. Wednesday next week I'll be interviewing  Stephanie Guerra and giving away an ARC of  her YA book TORN.

And in June I have two awesome interviews you won't want to miss. On June 4th I'm helping Elana Johnson celebrate the release of SURRENDER. It's one of the most awesome second books in a series that I've read. I'm giving away my ARC (only because I bought a book for my daughter and me. She loves it too and would not let me give it away otherwise). On June 11th I'm interviewing debut author Jennifer Bosworth and giving away an ARC of STRUCK, another awesome book.

And don't forget our Tuesday Tips tomorrow and Casey's Agent Spotlights on Thursdays.

Hope to see you on Wednesday!


Rebecca Hipworth said...

Thank you for the giveaway. :)
I'd like to win Starters by Lissa Price.
I follow via GFC as Becky.


Donna K. Weaver said...

Congrats to Shannon. I'm heading over to her blog.

And can't wait to get hold of my copy of The Emotional Thesaurus!

Carina Olsen said...

Love the interview :D Christina sounds awesome. Love that she loves The Mortal Instruments. <3 :D And ohh! Thank you so much for this giveaway :D I would like all the books ;D hih ;p
Love, Carina

Creepy Query Girl said...

Fantastic interview! Love Christina's passion for reading and books! Her summer of 16 books reminds me of the summers my sisters and I spent signing up for the book challenges at our local library. I used to bring home and devour whole series (lots of babysitters club and sweet valley at that point:)

Jemi Fraser said...

Great interview with Christina - she's got great taste in books!

Shannon is awesome - perfect choice for RAOK! :)

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Shannon is such a sweetheart! Fantastic choice!

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Oops. Forgot...Christina, it was fabulous meeting you!!

Kristin Lenz said...

So many wonderful things in this blog post, Natalie! I love Shannon's blog, too - she's great about carrying on a dialogue with her readers.

The Emotion Thesaurus at The Bookshelf Muse is a wonderful resource - I've been looking forward to their official book launch. ROAK is a perfect idea for them.

Congrats to Christina for stepping up to the big blogging opportunity with Kristi! Great shout-out to library summer reading programs. I did this growing up, and then got my own daughter involved from the time she was a toddler. I'm always surprised how many kids/parents don't know about these programs.

LTM said...

Shannon is awesome! I love her MG Mondays! And nice to meet Christina! Yay for both these guys~ :o) <3

Michael G-G said...

I agree, Shanoon is awesome and amazing.

Thanks for the interview and the chance to win books. (Fractured would be my fave, should I win.)

Michael G-G said...

Shanoon should of course be Shannon.

Nicole Zoltack said...

I love Shannon!

And great interview.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

WOWZA!!!! You are soooooo sweet, Natalie!

Now you want to know what's really cool about this? You're MY RAOK shout-out too!!! How funny is that?

Thanks SO MUCH, my friend! :)

cleemckenzie said...

Yay! Love that you chose Shannon.

Vivien said...

Thanks and congrats to the other winner!!

Great interview! Just in the short time that I've been following blogs, I've noticed a huge change. There has been so much drama...it's all so very interesting from an outside perspective. The amount of Meme's has slowly decreased, thank god. I love the spotlights on the authors. I find out about so many new ones every day.

Enter me for A Touch of Power :D
GFC: Vivien

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Lisa Gail Green said...

You're so awesome!! You give and give and give. :D Hope you have a wonderful week and receive lots of kindness yourself.

Rachna Chhabria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachna Chhabria said...

Wow! Thanks a lot, Natalie and Casey for the book. I am thrilled.

I will go and meet Shannon. She sounds like a sweetheart.

I enjoyed reading Christina's interview. Have a wonderful week :)

Christina Lee said...

YAY Shannon and HI Christina (I am amazed at all the technology available at school)!

Barbara Watson said...

Love the kindness celebration today!

The interview was interesting; I enjoy hearing students' viewpoints!

And more giveaways--wow, Natalie!--there's a lot going on here today!

Patti said...

Shannon is awesome, especially her profiles on Middle Grade books. Great interview.

Anonymous said...

CONGRATS to Shannon! I follow her awesome blog. : )

Becca Puglisi said...

Congrats, Shannon--a worthy recipient :). And thank you, Natalie. You've been busy today, popping around to the various RAOK participants, and I appreciate you spreading the love!

Becca @ The Bookshelf Muse

Joanne R. Fritz said...

Congratulations to Shannon. Yes, she's a sweetheart!

Great interview, Natalie and Christina. Always love hearing the perspective of a 12-year-old blogger and reader. No surprise that they all love Hunger Games! We're selling more of that trilogy than anything else right now.

I've read STARTERS, and raced through it. Pretty decent read. I'm curious about FRACTURE, though.

Mart Ramirez said...

AWESOME interview! LOVING all the RAOK love!!

Angela Ackerman said...

Shannon is like my own personal cheerleader. I can't tell you how much knowing her has kept me on the writing path. Great choice!


Anonymous said...

Shannon really is great isn't she? And you too! Have a great rest of the RAOK day!

Stina said...

Shannon is an awesome choice. I'm excited since so many of my friends were acknowledged, and you all deserve it. :D

Miriam Forster said...

If this wonderful person can procure ARCs, she MUST be fabulous. Great post Natalie, isn't this fun?

Anubha said...

Love the interview... And hiii Christina... :D
Hey Natalie I visited Shannon's Blog it great I loved her MMGM post...

Enter me for all the three books (haven't read any of them yet)

Sandra said...

I loved the interview and I love Mortal Instruments and Insurgent too, and it's really interesting to hear it from a 12 year old reader. All three books look fantastic, but I think I'd prefer Touch of Power. :)

Kris @Imaginary Reads said...

I really wish I had a cool YA book-reading grandma like Christina's. My grandparents would buy me some books when I was little, but they couldn't afford to support my reading habits so that I didn't have to visit the libraries anymore :)

I'm going to visit Shannon's blog now!

Gale Nelson said...

wonderful interview and great giveaway. I would like to win fracture. Thanks!
Gale Nelson GFC

mil said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I'd like Starters.

Natasha said...

Great interview! I would love to win Fracture. Thanks for the chance to win!!
natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

Beth said...

What a great post! Shannon is definitely terrific. And I'll have to check out The Story Siren.
So much to look forward to in the coming weeks!

Jessy said...

That's so sweet Kristi took her under her wing and got her into blogging. I would love to win Starters. Thanks for the giveaway!

findjessyhere at gmail dot com

Mary Preston said...

I liked Christina's point about book trailers maybe drawing in more kids to reading. Give them a visual.

A great selection of books.


Janhvi said...

Thanks for the great interview with Christina! :)
Thanks for the giveaway!

justjanhvi at gmail dot com

Bridget Howard said...

Great interview!!!
GFC Bridget Howard

Miriam Forster said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miriam Forster said...

Hey, you got a shoutout too! Yay! :)

april_hunter24 said...

Great interview !
Thanks for the giveaway.
GFC april_hunter24
email april_hunter96@hotmail.co.uk

Steph said...

Great interview!! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

GFC: Stephanie


the story siren said...

Not entering the contest, but just wanted to leave a comment for Christina! She is such a fabulous person and reminds of why I love reading so much!

laceyblossom said...

Love the interview! Christina sounds like an amazing girl :) I'd love a grandma like hers. I usually just borrow books from the library. Thanks for the giveaway! I'd love to win Touch of Power
GFC: laceyblossom

Anonymous said...

Ooh, I wish somebody would send me thirty books too! And am also totally looking forward to reading City of Lost Souls (more of Clary, Jace and MAGNUS, yay!)
GFC follower: rachchan2006
Email: rachchan2006@yahoo.com.au

Michelle Sedeño said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle Sedeño said...

Hi! I'd choose Starter by Lissa Price if I win. Thank you for the giveaway!
I followed thru GFC on the name Michelle Sedeño.
email: michellesedeno@yahoo.com

Sarah Elizabeth said...

Really insightful interview! :)

I would love to read fracture :)

Violet Sanchez said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I would choose Fracture.

JessS said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I already have a copy of Touch of Power, but Fracture looks really good!

GFC - JessS

Reading Mind / The Loyal Book said...

Christina sounds awesome! would love to meet her!

GFC reading mind

aliasgirl at libero dot it

Christine said...

GFC follower (isabelli3619)
I'd love to win Starters.

Christine said...

forgot email addy...I think I need a nap.

isabelli3619 (at) aol (dot) com

Lexie@BookBug said...

Thanks for the great giveaway and interview!
GFC follower: Lexie@BookBug
I would love Starters or Touch of Power.
lexie.bookbug at gmail dot com

Natasha Areena said...

Interesting interview and of course thank you for the giveaway.
I'd like Fracture.
Follower-Natasha Areena

Krista said...

Thanks for the opportunity!
I'd like Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
GFC follower - Krista Davis

molly.frenzel said...

It's really cool that Christina is so young and blogging already! Awesome! Great interview and I look forward to seeing more of her posts on the Siren. I'd love to win Touch of Power.
GFC: molly.frenzel

Suz Reads said...

Christina and I share a passion for Hunger Games! Great interview! I'd love to win Starters! Thanks!
- GFC as Suz

susanw28 (at) mindspring (dot) com

Veronika said...

I haven't read any of the books yet, but I've heard awesome things about them! Thanks for the interview, great read!
GFC follower: Veronika
also email subscriber

verusbognar (at) gmail (dot) com

Iva said...

Interesting interview! I like Hunger Games too ;)

I'd love to win Fracture ^^ Thank you for the giveaway!

GFC follower: Ivya

ivy046 (at) gmail (dot) com

Ali B said...

Fracture has been on my radar for a while now. The other books look interesting, too. Great interview. As always, I love your site!

brookea_2006 said...

Interesting interview! Thanks for the giveaway! I'd like either Fracture or Starters :)

gfc: brookea_2006
email: brookea_2006 at yahoodotcom