Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

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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.


Happy Monday Everyone! I'm guessing most of you are experiencing the cold like me. Hope those of you doing NaNo are being productive.


Medeia Shariff's new book THE ATTIC OF SAND AND SECRETS just released. Here's a blurb:
Lily, a learning disabled girl, attempts to unravel the mystery of her abducted mother using supernatural clues from an ancient stranger, even when it means posing a danger to herself. And a few links:

And here's a few opportunities you might be interested in:
Odessey will be offering  winter online classes. For information, go to their website.

The Christine Eldin Memorial Fellowship will award $1000 to an unpublished middle-grade fiction author whose work-in-progress reveals potential for a successful writing career.  The award will increase annually as resources allow. Find the details on their website.

And I have a few winners to  announce

The winner of PENNYROYAL ACADEMY is Ophelia L!

And the winner of FORBIDDEN is Sheila Ryals!

Congrats! E-mail me your address so I can send you your book. Please e-mail me by the end of Wednesday or I'll have to pick another winner.

Today I'm excited to have a guest post by debut author Jennifer Torres and a giveaway of her MG Sci-fi
mystery, THE DISAPPEARING. Details of the giveaway are at the end of the post.

Here's Jennifer on her favorite childhood books that influenced her writing.
My desire to become a writer was formed from a love of reading.

My favorite stories always involved mystery, secret passageways, time travel, hidden worlds, secret doorways, and magical events.

The very first book that blew my socks off and the one I consider my very favorite to this day - was rejected no less than 26 times with editors referring to it as “the worst book I ever read” and “distinctly odd.” The author herself eventually labeled it as “too different.”

But despite a rough start, A Wrinkle in Time was published in 1962 and became an immediate hit, winning the Newbery Medal in 1963 and as of its 50th anniversary in 2012 - there were 10 million copies released in the U.S. alone.

Meg – the main character was described as plain and ordinary – something about this made me like her more and the first line – It was a dark and stormy night – hooked me from the get go. Follow that up with time travel, fifth dimensions, supernatural beings, and a dark planet – and well – I couldn’t put it down.

Another of my absolute favorites was written by an architect who admitted he “never had much desire to be a writer…” His book came about after winning a grant to write a children’s book about cities. It’s been said that after being published in 1961, there was not a lot of hope it would succeed. Some critics said the words were too difficult and the ideas- too abstract. But the author claims the book was “rescued” when a well-known critic wrote a glowing review in The New Yorker magazine – and The Phantom Tollbooth became an instant favorite of many youngsters. Many could relate to the idea of being “bored” like the main character of this book was. Milo was another ordinary boy – nothing notable to speak of in his life. But when a large package arrives addressed to him he finds a tollbooth inside – and soon learns that driving through the tollbooth in the electric car he just happens to have transports him to a magical land. I loved every minute of my travels with Milo – and the notion that something extraordinary could happen on an ordinary day.

That’s something Harriet M. Welsch knows all too well. As the main character from my third favorite childhood book – she learned that secrets rarely stay secret. In Harriet the Spy, she revels in keeping tabs on several people in her town – writing down her observations in a diary.. She also begins to jot down some opinions about her friends and classmates – sparing no details – after all it’s a private journal for her eyes only, right? Of course not – the journal is left behind, found by a classmate, shared, and what follows is a story of friendship, loss, loneliness, - and just about every other emotion any preteen can experience. After devouring the book, my best friend and I opened our own “detective agency” in a small structure her father built us in the backyard, keeping tabs on all our neighbors – but taking no notes.
When I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to write my own I tried to keep in mind all the things that made me fall in love with a book.

I started with an idyllic seaside town called Briny Deep, where nothing bad ever happens until five close friends suddenly come face-to-face with a mystery beyond explanation. The friends must scramble to uncover the truth as they begin to wonder if those closest to them have been hiding something unimaginable.

If my books touch just one child by inspiring them to read more – and perhaps one day write their own story – I will have succeeded in my goal.

The Briny Deep Mysteries consists of three books; The Disappearing, The Return, and The Battle.
Thank you for letting me visit with you today and I leave you with my favorite quote from The Phantom Tollbooth
“So many things are possible just as long as you don't know they're impossible.”

You can find Jennifer at:

Here's a blurb of THE DISAPPEARING from Goodreads

Other than a strange, recurring dream that involves running for his life, Tim is a happy guy. In this paranormal mystery, Jennifer Torres introduces us to the seaside town of Briny Deep; an ideal spot to grow up for Tim and his close friends: Max, Emily, Luke, and Nina. Nothing bad ever happens hereuntil a stranger appears in town and a young girl vanishes - then others. The friends must scramble to uncover the truth as they begin to wonder if those closest to them have been hiding something unimaginable.

Jennifer  have generously offered a copy of THE DISAPPEARING 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 December 6th. I’ll announce the winner on December 8th. 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. This is for US and Canada.

Here’s what’s coming up:

I'll be off next Monday for the Thanksgiving holiday. Have a great holiday!

The following Monday Jaye Robin Brown will be here with a guest post and a giveaway of NO PLACE TO FALL, her YA contemporary.

The Monday after that I'll have an interview with Medeia Shariff and a giveaway of VITAMINS AND DEATH, her YA contemporary.

Hope to see you in two weeks!


Kristin Lenz said...

Wrinkle in Time and Harriet the Spy were two of my childhood favorites too - I was so excited to share them with my daughter, but she didn't love them nearly as much as I did. That's okay, she found plenty of her own favorites. Glad you're taking some time off for the holiday, Natalie - Happy Thanksgiving!

Janet, said...

Good post. I love the name of the town - Briny Deep! Sounds like a good series of books to read.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Briny Deep - I love that name. Sounds like something from Lovecraft.

Greg Pattridge said...

THE DISAPPEARING sounds so good. I loved Jennifer's story about her favorite books and the difficulties the authors had getting them published. Much success with this one. I'll be reading it no matter if I win our not! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Natalie.

Jenni said...

Congrats, Jennifer! I loved hearing about your favorite books! I loved Wrinkle in Time and Harriet the Spy as a kid, but didn't discover Phantom Tollbooth until recently when my son read it. Your book sounds fascinating. I love that it takes place where "nothing bad ever happens."

Emily R. King said...

Huge congrats to Medeia!

The disappearing sounds wonderful. I like a little mystery!

Joanne R. Fritz said...

This book sounds very cool. And I totally loved both Harriet the Spy and The Phantom Tollbooth as a kid so I enjoyed reading about Jennifer's influences. Happy Thanksgiving, Natalie.

J Lenni Dorner said...

Cool. Congrats to the winners.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for featuring my book, and congrats to the winners.

Jennifer's book looks wonderful. Thank you for the giveaway.

Angela Brown said...

I enjoyed A Wrinkle in Time. I hadn't realized it had such a rough go of it getting out in the world. I'm glad it received that one Yes that made it possible to put it in the hands of children, like me when I was a kiddo, looking for something more than the everyday.

Thanks for sharing, Jennifer, and wishing you the very best with your Briny Deep Mysteries.

Enjoy your family and holiday time, Natalie :-)

dolorah said...

Have a good week Ladies :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've not read any of those books, but I know the feeling of not having a desire to write.
Congratulations, Jennifer!

Jemi Fraser said...

Love that quote! And love the 3 books too! The (short) scene on the 2D planet has always stuck with me :)
This sounds great - I'll have to pick it up for the school!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Other than a Wrinkle in time--which I read while taking my teaching degree, I haven't read the other two. But I do remember the excitement of an unsolved mystery when I was a kid. Or, my favorite, exploring new world in Sci-fi. It's good to reconnect with those feelings. Congratulations!

Congratulations also to Medeia with her new story!

Suzanne Warr said...

Great post, today! A lovely run down of several of my favorite books, and an introduction to one that sounds like it could be a new fav!

Unknown said...

The book sounds so exciting! I love hearing about the old SF and horror novels that were so riveting when we were kids. Wishing Jennifer much success!

Rosi said...

What a fun post. This book sounds great and even though my TBR pile totters, I would like to be in the drawing. Thanks for the post and the chance to win.

Beth said...

Great post! Harriet the Spy was a huge inspiration for me, and I loved reading about Jennifer's favourite books as a kid. You don't need to enter me in the drawing.

Donna K. Weaver said...

How fun. Love the story behind the The Phantom Tollbooth. I still love reading my childhood book loves.

mshatch said...

Like Jennifer, A Wrinkle in Time and The Phantom Tollbooth were among my most favorite books - I think they still are :)

Anonymous said...

I could go for a copy of this! I love old children's sci-fi.

Denise Covey said...

Hi Natalie. Hope you and your daughter are doing well as you approach the holiday season. (I missed whether you got that job or not?)

Have seen a lot of Madeia on the blogs. Jennifer's book sounds great...

Denise :)

Unknown said...

I really loved A Wrinkle In Time when I read it a few years back, I can't believe that it had such a hard time being published.

Thanks for the giveaway!!!

TBM said...

Oh this brings back memories. Very happy memories.

Cherie Reich said...

Congrats, Jennifer! I've read two of the three books you talked about, although I didn't read A Wrinkle in Time until I was an adult. I was too busy reading Nancy Drew Mysteries as a child. ;)

Danielle H. said...

I loved a Wrinkle in Time! Your books sounds so exciting! I will share on Facebook.

Diane Elizabeth said...

Loved A Wrinkle in Time and Harriet the Spy. I'm looking forward to The Disappearing..adding to my ever growing TBR list! I follow on GFC - Diane elfgurl3 (at) yahoo (dot) com

DMS said...

I was obsessed with A Wrinkle in Time and the rest of the series when I was in 5th grade. I even created plays and puppet shows about it! Harriet the Spy was another fav. I think The Disappearing sounds awesome. Love the unique cover! I would love to win a copy. Thanks so much for the chance to win (I am an old follower).

DMS said...

Oh- and wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving! :)

David P. King said...

Very cool. It's tough to please the gatekeepers, but it only takes one. :)

Holly Letson said...

I never did care for the books, *A Wrinkle in Time* and *Harriet the Spy*. But, it's always nice to hear that certain books get children into reading.

BL: Holly Letson
GFC: Holly Letson

bookaholicholly at gmail dot com


Unknown said...

I followed you everywhere I could. Bloglovin - Robert Ward
email, rjward@rockmail.com

nicolesender said...

GFC follower nicolesender

nicolesender said...

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Unknown said...

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Email: Josy15love@gmail.com thank you!

Bish Denham said...

Okay, because it takes place near the ocean and I love the name of the town, please throw my name in the hat!

Shared on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BishDenham.Author/posts/742252919162354