CURRENT GIVEAWAY CONTESTS

Here are my current Giveaway Contests

UNDER LOCK AND KEY through May 20th
THE BLACK WITCH through May 20th

Upcoming Agent Spotlights and Query Critique Giveaways

Alyssa Jennette on 5/24/2017
Bibi Lewis on 6/12/2017
Kelly Van Sant on 6/21/2017

AGENT SARAH DAVIES AND JESSIE HUMPHRIES GUEST POST & QUERY CRITIQUE, AMAZON GIFT CARD, & KILLING RUBY ROSE GIVEAWAY

Hi Everyone! Today I’m thrilled to have agent Sarah Davies and debut author Jessie Humphries here to share on revising for agents. Jessie is offering a paperback copy of her book, a tee-shirt, and a $20 Amazon gift card. Sarah has also offered a query critique as part of the giveaway. Details of the giveaway are at the end of the post.

Jessie’s Young Adult contemporary thriller, KILLING RUBY ROSE, officially released on May 1, 2014. However, KRR was chosen as an Amazon Kindle First Pick for the month of April and quickly became a #1 Amazon Bestseller in Teen & Young Adult books. Details about the book and the contest will be at the end of the post.

So here’s Jessie and Sarah!

 


JH: Thanks for having us, Natalie! Literary Rambles has been my #1 most favorite blog for years, and it is surreal to find myself contributing. So without further ado, I shall “contribute”:

When I hear the word “querying” my blood pressure rises, my mouth goes dry, and I suddenly want to drink something stronger than my usual Coke Zero-Diet Mountain Dew “Suicide.” And when I hear the term, “R&R” (revise and resubmit), my blood pressure spikes to dangerous levels, my tongue turns into a sun-dried sponge, and a Suicide seems imminent (and I’m not talking about the kind of suicide that comes out of a soda fountain).

Just kidding…I’m prone to melodramatic writing. (Or so says my agent and editor ;)

If you’re in either boat: the a) USS Query or b) the USS R&R, I’m here to throw you a lifeline (I’m also prone to cheesy metaphors). And I’ve asked my fabulous agent, Sarah Davies, of the Greenhouse Literary Agency, to chime in with thoughts of her own.

SD: Sarah here. Thanks for asking me to join in the conversation, Jessie. Yep, querying is bad enough at the best of times, but being asked to do the dreaded R&R must be terrible. And yet . . . if you’re going to get a book deal and work with an editor one day, you’ve got to be prepared to dive back into your manuscript and take another look – quite possibly several times. No one said the road to publishing success was easy (if it were, everyone would be doing it!). I loved that Jessie was so willing to revise for me, and I was very impressed by her attitude. That counts for a lot with me. I like people who work hard!


JH: Four Life Lines When Querying/Revising With An Agent

1. Get a Positive Hobby.

JH: Notice I said “positive.” This is not the time to start binge-eating, crack-smoking, or any other stress-induced coping mechanism. Believe me, when I was querying, oftentimes the crack pipe seemed like a feasible option. IT’S NOT! How about knitting, golfing, running, playing the ukulele? Every time you get a rejection, any kind of negative feedback, or a challenge to fix something that seems unfixable…turn to that hobby. For me, it was reading a good book in a scalding hot bath or rocking out to a Pink song as I ran away from my problems (literally running until my legs couldn’t run anymore).

SD: Now, Jessie, you know it’s me who plays the ukulele! Yes, agents get stressed too – we just do it in secret, while maintaining our Oscar-winning public face of serenity. I totally agree about keeping your hobbies and doing things you enjoy. I always say, “Writing is NEARLY everything. Just not quite.” Important to remember that and keep a sense of balance.

2. Keep writing.

JH: You’re a writer. At least you’re trying to be, right? So no matter what, keep writing however you can. Keep blogging, tweeting, and for heaven’s sakes, keep improving your work in progress. Keep refining your voice, establishing your platform, and tightening your style. Life doesn’t stop when you’re querying—though it may seem to have slowed almost to the point of the clock ticking backward. Your physical, mental, and emotional health depends on keeping your mind focused on moving forward with big, beautiful, creative ideas. This is hard, I know. I’ve been there and it’s easier said than done. But one must try.

SD: Jessie, your wisdom is great, your advice is majestic. People, listen to her! Whatever our job, but especially for people creating magic from their own minds and imaginations, it’s so important to keep thinking big thoughts and allowing yourself time and space for those to grow. Even if you can only carve out small amounts of “me” time, try to hold on to that and make the most of it. Querying, or having your manuscript on submission, is a very stressful time, so work on a strategy to ameliorate that.


3. Be a Problem Solver, not an Issue Finder.

JH: If the agent that you are working with offers you priceless feedback, take it. Be grateful for it. And carefully consider using it. Don’t find reasons why that agent is wrong. Why you need to hold on to your darlings. Why that agent doesn’t “understand.” Instead, use that valuable advice and precious window of time to solve the problems in your manuscript. Now I’m not suggesting you take every agent’s varying advice against your better judgment, I am only encouraging the attitude of humility. Be open to trusting the time-tested experience of a publishing industry expert who YOU queried for a reason. True story: Sarah asked for a R&R from me before she offered representation, in which she asked me to change virtually the entire ending. After I got done crying… and running… and scalding myself in my bathtub, I resolved to fix the significant problems she pointed out with my resolution. It took me the entire summer, several emotional meltdowns, and a popped out rib (yes, this is possible…ask my chiropractor), but I did it. I fixed that sucker. And it paid off—I signed with Sarah Davies soon after.

SD: I’m sorry I caused such pain – literally. However, Jessie proved to me that she had the chops for this business by refusing to be beaten, gritting her teeth, and getting on with the job. Writing isn’t about being all airy-fairy. Sure, you need to have good ideas and nurture your creative side. But it’s also about being a professional. It’s about deadlines, high standards, and rigor. It’s a tough business, a rollercoaster, and there will be many times when you will be challenged. Jessie showed all the spirit I could wish for!

4. Keep Your Mouth Shut.

JH: I know this sounds rude. Maybe if I say it in French it won’t sound so harsh? Fermez la bouche. Is that better? Anyway, when it comes to being vetted by a potential agent, they don’t want to fall in love with your manuscript and then go online to find out you are a gros connard! Excuse my French. Don’t lament your place in querydom, don’t post how many rejections you’ve received so far, don’t trash talk agents publicly. This is kind of like crushing on a guy in school, friending him on Facebook and then posting about: 1- how much you hate boys, 2- how many times you’ve been turned down by them, and 3- how stupid the last boy was who dared to talk to you. This does not make you appear more desirable. This kind of behavior kills your chances of ever landing an agent…or making out with a boy ever again. Whatever the case may be.

SD: Mais oui, bien sur. You see, Jessie, you’re not the only one who can speak French! Funnily enough, I was thinking only the other day about the great work that SCBWI does in advising writers on stuff like this. New authors don’t always realize what a small industry we work in. In the children’s books world, we all know each other, and you want to keep your name and reputation pristine. It’s so easy to be rude and resentful when things don’t go your way or you feel slighted. Trust me, agents have these temptations too, especially when we receive nasty emails from aspiring authors (which we sometimes do). So easy to bite back. It’s always good to keep your dignity and keep smiling in silence. Or at least only moan to your best friend, rather than the whole internet.


To celebrate the launch of KILLING RUBY ROSE, Jessie is giving away one free copy of this newly released novel, a Ruby Rose teeshirt, and a $20 Amazon gift card. And Sarah is is generously offering her time to critique one lucky winner’s query letter.

Thanks so much for your advice, Jessie and Sarah! Details of the giveaway are below.

Here’s a blurb of KILLING RUBY ROSE from the book jacket:



In sunny southern California, Ruby Rose is known for her killer looks and her killer SAT scores. But ever since her dad, an LAPD SWAT sergeant, died six months ago, she’s also got a few killer secrets.

To cope with her father’s death, Ruby has been trying to stay focused on school (the top spot in her class is on the line) and spending time with friends (her Jimmy Choos and Mahnolo Blahniks are nothing if not loyal), but after months of therapy and more than a few months of pathetic parenting by her mom, District Attorney Jane Rose, Ruby decides to pick up where her dad left off and starts going after the bad guys herself.

But when Ruby ends up killing a murderer in defense of another, she discovers that she’s gone from being the huntress to the hunted. There’s a sick mastermind at play, and he has Ruby in his sights. Ruby must discover who’s using her to implement twisted justice before she ends up changing Valentino red for prison orange.

With a gun named Smith, a talent for martial arts, and a boyfriend with eyes to die for, Ruby is ready to face the worst. And if a girl’s forced to kill, won’t the guilt sit more easily in a pair of Prada peep-toe pumps?


Available at:

And other local & national retailers.


And you can find Jessie at: www.jessiehumphries.com

So there will be three winners. Jessie is generously offering a paperback copy of KILLING RUBY ROSE and a t-shirt to one winner. This is for US & Canada. And she's offering a $20 Amazon Gift Card which is International. And Sarah Davies is offering a query critique via a 15 minute telephone call. This is also International.

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 June 21st. Tell me in the comments if you're International and if you want to be included in the query critique giveaway. You must mention that you want to be included in the query critique giveaway to enter it. I’ll announce the winner on June 23rd. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, please 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.

Here’s what’s coming up:

Next Monday I have an interview with debut author Bethany Neal and a ARC giveaway of MY LAST KISS, her YA ghost story/mystery. I loved it.

The following Monday I have an ASK THE EXPERT interview with a high school student and will be offering a number of MG and YA books for a giveaway to get you started on your summer reading.

Wednesday that week I have a guest post by Pam Torres and a giveaway of her MG book IT’S NOT JUST A DOG.
 
The following Monday I have an interview with Lindsay Cummings and a giveaway of THE MURDER COMPLEX, her YA futurist thriller that I really enjoyed.

Wednesday that week I’m interviewing debut author and follower Jessica Lawson and a giveaway of her MG historical fiction book THE ACTUAL & TRUTHFUL ADVENTURES OF BECKY THATCHER. This is a fun read and I loved Becky, the adventurous middle grader who has a great voice you can’t help loving.


And don’t forget Casey’s Agent Spotlights.

Hope to see you on Monday!

95 comments:

  1. Would love to be included in the query critique giveaway. My query is kicking my tail! Would love some feedback; what an awesome win!

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  2. Jessie speaketh truth! Yeah, keeping one's mouth shut can be hard, but she's so right.

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  3. Great and timely post since I'm diving back into the query trenches in a few months! I need to start thinking of a better hobby than worrying :)

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    1. And yes to being included in the query critique, thanks for the giveaway. jenpickrell (at) gmail (dot) com

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  4. Ruby's character sounds completely intriguing. I would love to be entered for the book, but no query critique for me. Thanks for hosting this giveaway! ^^

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  5. Jessie's book sounds super interesting. Love her voice:

    "Before she ends up changing Valentino red for prison orange."
    "Won’t the guilt sit more easily in a pair of Prada peep-toe pumps?"

    Sarah Davies was the first agent I had queried :)

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  6. Good advice. Don't go online and be a troll. neither agents nor publishers want to work with a nightmare.

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  7. This is fantastic advice. I especially love the bit from Jessie about lamenting on line and the comparison she gave. Hopefully that will help steer a lot of writers from the dangers of social ruin. Thank you ladies! And best of luck with Killing Ruby Rose. I'll be picking up a copy.

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  8. This was fun and informative. I totally agree with watching what you say (you never know who's listening...) and being open to change. My CP has made numerous suggestions I HATED initially, but then realized were exactly what my story needed to be better.

    I'd love to be entered for the book and the query critique :)

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  9. Enjoyed the post. I'd love to be entered in the query critique. Thanks

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  11. Killing Rudy Rose was awesome! And this was a super fun (and unique) guest post. In the writing world, to pays to be classy. Great advice! :)

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  12. What a wonderful interview! I loved getting the dual perspectives. I especially liked the advice about finding a good hobby. I'd love to be entered in either giveway.

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  13. Definitely always keep writing!!! I just adore reading multiple povs. It keeps up the tension!
    US, but not interested in the query critique
    GFC: Vivien
    tweet:
    https://twitter.com/KellisAmberlee_/status/474218370959552512

    kellis_amberlee at yahoo dot com

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  14. Fabulous advice, ladies! And way to deliver it in such a fun way. :D

    Fabulous giveaway! Killing Ruby Rose rocks hard, and so does Sarah. No need to enter me.

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  15. Sounds like a fantastic book & both Jessie & Sarah congratulations on the release. Sarah seems like a rockstar agent!

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  16. Query critique! Or copy of this book! Loved all the French - no pardon necessary :)

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  17. I'd love to be entered for the book or query critique! I also promoted the giveaway on Twitter. My email address should be on my profile.

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  18. This was a great post everyone! Thanks for the giveaways and I would love to be included in the query giveaway.

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  19. I loved this article and it inspired me to keep working on my novel!
    I'm from Portugal (INT), and i'm definitely interested in the giveaway.
    GFC: Jessica Viana
    tweet:
    https://twitter.com/Dive0nVine/status/474242034749169666
    facebook:
    https://www.facebook.com/lexi.gatsby/posts/1505578789660620

    jessicaviana06@gmail.com

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    1. sorry forgot to mention, i'm not into the query giveaway, just the international one.

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  20. It was fun to see the back and forth between Jessie and Sarah, plus great advice on mentally surviving the query craziness. I saw the trailer for Killing Ruby Rose a few weeks ago and was wowed by it - loved the red cape!

    I was lucky enough to already win an amazing KRR prize, so don't enter me in this one.

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  21. I can not express how golden both were in their advice!! Totally priceless and relevant! I'm not international and would love a query critique!! Sign me up! I'll be humble.. ;)-

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  22. Posting negative stuff online seems like a really bad idea no matter who you are!

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  23. Thank you so much for all the tips and advice to those of us currently querying. Please do enter me in the query critique giveaway. I follow via GFC and I'm in the US.

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  24. Congrats to Jessie! Wonderful advice, ladies!

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  25. Awesome post! I'd love to be entered for the book and query critique!

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  26. YES! I totally read when anticipating or hoping for news too. You have to stay busy, right?

    Amazing tips and advice ladies. Thanks a ton!

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  27. Great interview and wonderful tips. Thanks a lot!

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  28. I've been hearing about KRR for awhile now and it sounds great!

    BTW- I'm International (Canada) and also would like to be included in the query critique giveaway! :)

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  29. Definitely putting this book on my to-read list. Please include me in the query critique contest. kimberlycallard at hotmail dot com

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  30. Thanks for the great advice, and the French lesson! Congrats on the success of Killing Ruby Rose! I wish I had a query to critique!

    Julie

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  31. Fantastic advice. Especially the last point! I'm querying right now and losing my mind a bit. Please include me in the query critique contest.

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  32. Great advice, and Jessie knows what she's talking about. She wrote a great book! I would love to be included in the query critique giveaway! I need all the help I can get.

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  33. Such awesome (and entertaining!) advice. Thanks, ladies.

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  34. Thanks for hosting Sarah and Jessie. I can see that these two work well together. Glad to know we need to do the work... and we can get there when we do.
    I'd love to be included in the query critique giveaway too. Thank you!

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  35. Very insightful! Thanks for sharing and looking forward to checking out the book (reminds me of Veronica Mars). Please do include me in the the query critique giveaway also!

    yjsunny@Yahoo.com

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  36. Oh, a hot bath and a book- doesn't get any better than that! Please include me in the query critique too. Thanks! leandrawallace@gmail.com

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  37. Great interview! Please enter me into drawings. I'd love to win this beautiful book and the tshirt or the query critique!
    Terri Dunham
    Email: louisianabook@yahoo.com

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  38. Some fabulous advice. I hope the new ending really pays off in book sales.

    I want to be included in the query critique giveaway.

    I shared on @JLenniDorner on twitter, my personal Facebook and my Facebook page, G+, and LinkedIn.
    JLenniDorner at G mail dot com

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  39. Great post! Thanks. I would love to be in the query giveaway. I tweeted your link: https://twitter.com/rosihollinbeck/status/474433302703931392

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  40. Great Post! I retweeted it.
    I'm international but would love to be included in the query giveaway.
    Hellenorup@mail.com

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  41. I live in Palestine (the one in the Middle East, not the one in Texas) and I would love to win the query critique. Thanks for this opportunity. The post is useful, too. nora@noralestermurad.com

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  42. Sound advice!
    I retweeted it. I'm international and would love to be in the query giveaway.
    maplecat@web.de

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  43. yay for Jessie! great interview! love the while-waiting advice, but i'm cracking up at the first one - i thought it said get a positive hubby! ha ha ha!

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  44. What a great interview! I'd love a query critique, and I'll certainly read Killing Ruby Rose soon - even if I don't win.

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  45. Following via Bloglovin as Kristina Vallaste :)
    kurri121 at hotmail dot com
    https://twitter.com/Deemotay/status/474503830462160897
    International & thanks!

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  46. Great post! I would love to read your book!

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  47. KILLING RUBY ROSE sounds great! Very "Revenge"-inspired, which I love! It's tops on my TBR list.

    I'd also love to be entered in the query crit!

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  48. A motivational post. I love it! Once in a while we need to be reminded to stick with it. I'd love to win the book or the critique. Thank you! heathercq(at)gmail(dot)come

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  49. I enjoyed the straight forward advice. We all need more of that! Thanks for the giveaway and interview! I shared this on Facebook.

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  50. Great advice for those of us who are in the throes of querying (again)! I would love to read KILLING RUBY ROSE and I would love to be entered in the query critique. Please keep all the interviews with authors and agents coming. They are both informative and inspirational.

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  51. The advice about keeping your mouth shut on social media should be followed by lots more people!

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  52. I really enjoyed reading this interview. Thank you for all the great advice :)

    I am International and would like to be included in the query critique giveaway. I've also shared this in SCBWI Germany and Austria's Facebook group.

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  53. Very entertaining and useful Q and A. Thanks!!
    I'd love to be entered in the query feedback, too.

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  54. I'd love to be entered for the query critique! KMP1161@hotmail.com

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  55. Great interview. And it's key to keep writing.

    I don't want to be included in the critique, just the other giveaways.
    jpetroroy at gmail dot com

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  56. Did you notice their names both end in -ies? Eerie. I'd like to be included in both the book and the query feedback giveaway and I shared this info on my blog (kreftontheblock.blogspot.com) Thanks so much for this post! kreftdci@att.net

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  57. I'm a runner to. But I think a bit of ice cream is great therapy! Thanks for this fun interview! Please put me in for the query critique as well as the novel giveaway! Emilygmoorewriter@yahoo.com

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  58. What a fantabulous interview! I really like author-agent interviews--and would love it if you would do more of them! KILLING RUBY ROSE sounds like a crackerjack concept, and Sarah Davies is a class act. Sign me up for each and every prize. Literary Rambles hits it out of the park again!
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/MGMafioso/status/474563737626484737

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  59. I'm a big fan of the blog - thanks for the great advice. I love hearing about the pre-signing process. The concept and MC of KILLING RUBY ROSE sound fab. Please sign me up for the query critique contest (international).

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  60. I would love a query critique and this book! Am I being greedy? Thanks for the post and for the giveaway.

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  61. Great post! I'd love to be in the running for the query critique.
    terrydotadothunt@gmaildotcom

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  62. Thank you for the fantastic post! I would love to be entered in both the query critique and Jessie's book giveaways and have mentioned the contest on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/kathleen.wilson.37604). ksw2@aol.com.

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  63. Awesome! I'm US, not International, and would love to be entered in both giveaways (critique and book). Thank you so much!

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  64. Wonderful…all of it!
    Lots of competition, but I’d like to be entered in the contest for the giveaways. And I’ll mention it on Twitter.
    Thank you!

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  65. Wonderful…all of it!
    Lots of competition, but I’d like to be entered in the contest for the giveaways. And I’ll mention it on Twitter.
    Thank you!

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  66. Great Post! I'd really appreciate being entered in the critique giveaway. Thanks for the opportunity!

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  67. Great advice! Love to see agents and writers each telling their perspective! Count me in for the query critique giveaway please!

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  68. Congratulation to Jessie and thanks for the wise words from both ladies. Would love a query critique. Will share interview/contest on Facebook and Twitter.

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  69. Thanks for the great advice! Please include me in the query critique and the book giveaway.

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  70. Thank you for the wonderful post

    INT

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  71. Fabulous advice and I'm looking forward to reading the book.

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  72. Thanks for the great advice! I'd love to be included in the query critique giveaway.

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  73. Wonderful. Thanks Jesse and Sarah. This interview was such a big help since I'm in the process of querying at the moment.

    Congrats Jesse on your novel! ALL the best!

    Hi, Natalie,

    I would LOVE to be in the query critique contest with Sarah... How generous of her to do this for one very lucky author!

    I will TWEET, too!

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  74. I'd love a query critique. Thank you for the offer. sharif(at)sharifwrites(dot)com

    I have my copy of Ruby Rose.

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  75. great post! I hope I win the query critique! bethany.hensel@gmail.com

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  76. Query critiques are so helpful and one from a pro is fantastic. cleemckenzieATgmailDOTcom

    I think the advice here was perfect. I especially endorse the "keep your mouth shut." Like Grandma always said, "If you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything at all."

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  77. Great guest post--really good advice! And KILLING RUBY ROSE sounds awesome! I'm totally putting it on my list of books to buy.

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  78. Thank-you for your time spent teaching us newbies. Thoughtful advice to ponder and practice. Ruby Rose the detective in designer shoes. Intriguing.
    hdutotAThotmailDOTcom

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  79. Thank-you for your time spent teaching us newbies. Thoughtful advice to ponder and practice. Ruby Rose the detective in designer shoes. Intriguing.
    hdutotAThotmailDOTcom

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  80. Thank-you for your time spent teaching us newbies. Thoughtful advice to ponder and practice. Ruby Rose the detective in designer shoes. Intriguing.
    hdutotAThotmailDOTcom

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  81. great post :)
    I am international!
    and I would love to enter the query critique giveaway :D

    cookiesmasher5@yahoo.com

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  82. I find the contents of this post helpful. I would love to enter the query critique giveaway. Too bad. I have no chance in winning the paper copy of KILLING RUBY ROSE since I'm international :(

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  83. Fantastic interview and hits home for the queryin/R&R stage for sure. Triple thanks to Natalie, Jessie AND Sarah! I'd love a chance at that query critique. The KILLING RUBY ROSE giveaway also sounds great.

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  84. Thank you for the great interview - the R&R is so stressful! I'd love to be entered in both the giveaway and the query critique please.

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  85. Everyone should read KILLING RUBY ROSE! Huge congrats to my CP, Jessie. And a big wave to Sarah. She's an awesome agent!

    erittelking at gmail dot com

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  86. Another wonderful and insightful interview! Book sounds like a fun read! And yes please enter me in giveaway and the query critic. Thank you!
    Literarynightcap[a]gmail.com

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  87. Great interview on what to do and what NOT to do! Would love to be entered in the query critique!

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  88. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  89. Thanks for the wonderful advice. Please enter me in the query critique. I would love Ms. Davies feedback!

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  90. So sorry...me again! I forgot to leave my best email contact. It is kdtaylor7@gmail.com

    Thanks!

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  91. What great advice! The book sounds awesome, Jessie. Can't wait to read it!

    I'd love to be entered in all the giveaways.

    tiffaniereginalynn (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Oh, I'm Canadian, too, so I guess that makes me international

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  92. Thanks for the great advice :) I would love to be entered for the query critique, I dearly need feedback! angela.fillmore@gmail.com

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