CURRENT GIVEAWAYS

Here are my current Giveaway Contests



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

Katelyn Detweiler Agent Spotlight Interview & Query Critique Giveaway on 1/20/2020

Hilary Jacobson Query Critique & ALL THE STARS AND TEETH Giveaway on 2/5/2020

Megan Manzano Agent Spotlight Interview & Query Critique Giveaway on 2/24/2020

SPLASH INTO SUMMER GIVEAWAY HOP

Happy Friday Everyone! I hope you are having a great start of the summer and will have more time to read and relax. I sure am hoping I will--and to work on my current manuscript.

Today I'm excited to participate in the Splash Into Summer Giveway Hop hosted by by BookHounds. I am so grateful to Mary at BookHounds for continuing to host these giveaways because I know they take time for her organize.

FOLLOWER NEWS

Before I get to the giveaway, I have Follower News to share. I usually post this with my Monday post's but I won't be doing one on Monday. For those of you who don't know, Follower News is a way that I help my regular followers when their books release. Because I only post once a week, I cannot participate in a few blog tours for you. However, I'm glad to post about your book release in Follower News. Just e-mail me a two-sentence blurb with your book cover and a few links. This is open to picture book through adult as long as your book is not erotica. You just have to be a follower who regularly visits the blog (once a month is okay) and leaves a comment so I know that you have stopped by.

Today, I have two followers' good news to share. These books are also one of the choices in my giveaway this month.


The first is a new picture book, THE MISSING ALPHABET, by Elaine Kaye. Here's a short blurb: The paper alphabet letters in Gregory Green’s classroom have gone missing, and it’s up to him and his friends to find those missing letters. But will they be able to find the entire alphabet?
General Age Range - Kids 5-8 (Story Picture Book)
EBOOK: Amazon / Nook / Kobo
PRINT: Amazon 

And Elizabeth Seckman has a new Adult book, HOOSIER DAD. Here's a
short blurb: Rich Cooper is juggling a lot- a bar, a construction company, two daughters, and a monster of an ex-wife who is threatening to take his girls. His only hope of winning is in the hands of topnotch attorney Sarah Andrews, the woman whose heart he broke years ago. 

I've also got a lot of other new releases to share with you this month. I hope you find a book you like for yourself, a family member, or a friend in the choices offered. 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. I've got a combination of MG and YA books and recent books by followers that I hope you're looking forward to reading. Remember, if you want an earlier book in any of these series, you can pick that instead as long as it doesn't cost more than the book here. You can find descriptions of these books on Goodreads.

 
 

 
 
 
 


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 anyway you want and leave a comment telling me what book you want or that you want the gift card through June 30th. 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. I will also give you an extra entry if you follow me on Twitter and let me know this. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. This giveaway is International as long as the Book Depository ships there for free.

Here's what's coming up (FYI I'm starting my summer slow down to spend time planning next year's schedule):

Wednesday, July 3 I have an interview with debut author Jessica Redman and a giveaway of her MG contemporary THE MIRACULOUS and my IWSG post

Monday, July 8 I have an interview with author June McCrary Jacobs and a giveaway of her MG historical RES-Q TYLER STOP

Wednesday, July 10 I have an agent spotlight interview and query critique giveaway with Connor Eck

Sunday, July 14 I'm participating in the Christmas in July Giveaway Hop

And here are the other blogs participating in this blog hop:

















AGENT SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW WITH KERSTIN WOLF AND QUERY CRITIQUE GIVEAWAY


Today I’m thrilled to have agent Kerstin Wolf here. She is a literary agent at D4EOLiterary Agency.

Hi­ Kerstin! Thanks so much for joining us.

About Kerstin:

1. Tell us how you became an agent, how long you’ve been one, and what you’ve been doing as an agent.

I officially became an agent in early 2019. While I am a newer agent, I’m not that new to the industry. Prior to becoming an agent, I worked as a freelance editor. I also interned/assisted for about three and a half years at a number of literary agencies, publishers, and arts journals. Eight internships later, and I’m finally an agent! It’s taken me a lot of work and time to get to where I am now, so I’m thrilled to finally build my own client list. My main focus at the moment is to expand my client list and prepare my current clients’ works for submission.

About the Agency:

2. Share a bit about your agency and what it offers to its authors.

Bob Diforio launched D4EO Literary Agency in 1989 after a long career at the New American Library, now an imprint of Penguin Random House. Today D4EO is a full-service literary agency representing authors of a very broad range of commercial fiction and non-fiction for children, young adults, and adults. 
Books represented by the agency have topped the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists, and agency authors have received awards that include the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense and the Nero Award, as well as nominations for the Hugo Award, among many other notable successes.
With over 1,500 published books under contract, the agency has launched the writing careers of more than two hundred authors.

What She’s Looking For:

3. What age groups do you represent—picture books, MG, and/or YA? What genres do you represent and what are you looking for in submissions for these genres?

I represent MG, YA, and adult novels! Genres that I always love to see for MG include fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and horror. Genres that I’m interested in YA include fantasy, science fiction, horror, and contemporary romance. If you would like more details on what I’m interested in, I’d recommend checking out my website and #MSWL!

4.  Is there anything you would be especially excited to seeing in the genres you are interested in?

Dragons and demons! I’d love to see some dragons and demons! Give me all the fantastical and unique creatures! I’m also a sucker for strong world building. I want to be completely immersed in this world you’ve created! Of course, bonus points are awarded for delicious food in the manuscript.

What She Isn’t Looking For:

5. What types of submissions are you not interested in?

I’m not really looking for contemporary realistic fiction in MG. I’m also not a good fit for historical fiction in MG or YA if there are no magical elements.

Agent Philosophy:

6. What is your philosophy as an agent both in terms of the authors you want to work with and the books you want to represent?

My views are all about the best interests of the author and their long-term career. I want to build long-term relationships with my authors and help them have enjoyable and fruitful careers. I value hard work, but I also realize that writing can be difficult. I don’t want my authors to be so stressed that they can’t enjoy the little things.
Growth is also important. I want to help my authors grow and improve their craft. They need to be able to take critique well and be open-minded to revisions. I love working with authors on new ideas for future manuscripts. The more ideas they have brewing, the better!
As for my philosophy with books, I want to feel it deep in my bones. I want to soar with hope and die of laughter. I want to feel my heart being torn from my chest when the protagonist is betrayed or when a character is killed. I want to feel every little bit of it.

Editorial Agent:

7. Are you an editorial agent? If so, what is your process like when you’re working with your authors before submitting to editors?

I am definitely an editorial agent! I’m almost always editing something or discussing new possibilities and ideas. When I go through and edit a manuscript for the first time, I always mark it up using Track Changes and include a short edit letter at the end of the manuscript discussing the main issues. A phone call is then arranged to discuss possible changes and to toss ideas around. After that point though, the process changes depending on the author and the manuscript.

Query Methods and Submission Guidelines: (Always verify before submitting)

8. How should authors query you and what do you want to see with the query letter?

Authors should query me through my QueryManager form: http://QueryMe.Online/kerstinwolf
I do not accept queries through email, mail, or the contact form on my website.
With your query letter, please include the first ten pages of your manuscript and the comparative titles. Really, everything that I’d like to see is listed in the form.

9.  Do you have any specific dislikes in query letters or the first pages submitted to you?

I always recommend that query letters focus more on the plot and main characters than what readers should get or feel from the manuscript. If I’m unsure of what the book is about or don’t know who the main characters are, then I’m not as likely to request more. Also, please know a handful of comparative titles for your manuscript. If you can’t list a single comparative title, then it appears to me as though you don’t read within the genre you’re writing in.
As for personalization, all you need to do is have my name in the greeting. It is preferable that you spell my name correctly. More personalization than this will definitely make you stand out, but it doesn’t ultimately make it or break it for me.

Response Time:

10. What’s your response time to queries and requests for more pages of a manuscript?

It all depends! My response time can vary from an hour later to months later. It really just depends on what’s going on at the moment. When I’m editing multiple manuscripts, my response time tends to get slower. You will always receive a response back from me though! I always notify authors of my decision.

Self-Published and Small Press Authors:

11.  Are you open to representing authors who have self-published or been published by smaller presses? What advice do you have for them if they want to try to find an agent to represent them?

Of course! My only piece of advice would be to query a manuscript that has never before been published.

12. With all the changes in publishing—self-publishing, hybrid authors, more small publishers—do you see the role of agents changing at all? Why?

Everything is always changing. I’m sure my job will look very different twenty years from now, but I do believe that the primary role of agents will stay the same. True agents will always stand for authors’ best interests and be their allies.

Clients:

13. Who are some of the authors you represent?

I currently represent the extraordinary Lynn Jung and the brilliant Brandy Howell! Both are currently working on YA fantasy novels that are going to knock your socks off!

Interviews and Guest Posts:

14. Please share the links to any interviews and guest posts you think would be helpful to writers interested in querying you.

If you can believe it, this is actually my first agent interview! I’m so thankful to have been given this opportunity by Literary Rambles!

Links and Contact Info:
15. Please share how writers should contact you to submit a query and your links on the Web.

Personal Website: https://kerstinwolfagent.com/
Twitter: @Kerstin_Wolf

Additional Advice:

16. Is there any other advice you’d like to share with aspiring authors that we haven’t covered?

Keep writing. Every single word you write is a step in the right direction. Every word is progress.

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Kerstin.

­Kerstin is generously offering a query critique to one lucky winner. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follower button if you're not a follower) and leave a comment through June 29th.  If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter either contest. If you do not want to enter the contest, that's okay. Just let me know 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 an international giveaway.

Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at natalieiaguirre7@gmail.com
Note: These agent profiles and interviews presently focus on agents who accept children's fiction. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying an agent. The information found here is subject to change.

SHANNON SCHUREN INTERVIEW AND THE VIRTUE OF SIN GIVEAWAY AND IWSG POST


Happy Wednesday Everyone! Today I’m excited to have debut author Shannon Schuren here to talk about her debut YA contemporary THE VIRTUE OF SIN. It tackles the very hard issue of living in a religious cult. I haven’t read a book about this before and grew up in a town that had a mysterious defunct cult. So I'm excited to read this.


Before we get to Shannon’s interview, I have my IWSG post 

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!


Posting: The first Wednesday is officially Insecure Writer's Support Group Day.

The co-hosts this month are:  Diane Burton, Kim Lajevardi, Sylvia Ney, Sarah Foster, Jennifer Hawes, and Madeline Mora-Summonte!

Optional Question: Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?. 

I only write fantasy although I might be interested in writing a mystery. I like fantasy because of the world building, strong characters and plot, magic, and ability to incorporate other genres into a fantasy, such as mystery, romance, etc. I also like to write MG and YA. Adult fantasies get to be too long and complicated for me to read or write.

What about you? Which genre is your favorite to write?

How I Can Help You

I also want to remind you how I can help you and am re-posting what I wrote about this last month:

I want to help my followers when your book releases. Because I only post once a week, I cannot participate in a few blog tours for you. However, there are other ways I can help you. For anyone who doesn't know or doesn't know, I'm glad to post about your book release in Follower News. Just e-mail me a two-sentence blurb with your book cover and a few links. This is open to picture book through adult as long as your book is not erotica. You just have to be a follower who regularly visits the blog (once a month is okay) and leaves a comment so I know that you have stopped by.

Also, I participate in a monthly book giveaway hop with other book review bloggers where I offer a variety of MG and YA new releases. I get about 70-100 comments and 1000 or more page views on these posts. I'm going to also open this up as a way to help my followers. I'm glad to offer your book as one of the choices when it releases. This is also open to picture book through adult as long as your book is not erotica. Same follower requirement as for Follower News. Just e-mail me your book cover!

Take advantage of these opportunities to let me help you promote your book!

Now onto my interview with Shannon. Here’s a blurb of THE VIRTUE OF SIN on Goodreads:

A novel about speaking out, standing up, and breaking free.

Miriam lives in New Jerusalem, a haven in the desert far away from the sins and depravity of the outside world. Within the gates of New Jerusalem, and under the eye of its founder and leader, Daniel, Miriam knows she is safe. Cared for. Even if she’s forced, as a girl, to quiet her tongue when she has thoughts she wants to share, Miriam knows that New Jerusalem is a far better life than any alternative. So when God calls for a Matrimony, she’s thrilled; she knows that Caleb, the boy she loves, will choose her to be his wife and they can finally start their life together. 

But when the ceremony goes wrong and Miriam winds up with someone else, she can no longer keep quiet. For the first time, Miriam begins to question not only the rules that Daniel has set in place, but also what it is she believes in, and where she truly belongs. 

Alongside unexpected allies, Miriam fights to learn–and challenge–the truth behind the only way of life she’s ever known, even if it means straying from the path of Righteousness.


Hi Shannon! Thanks so much for joining us.

1. Tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.

Thanks for having me! I’m so happy to be here to talk books and writing. Like many writers, I started out as a reader first. I have no shortage of stories about being the awkward girl who took books to her slumber parties, or got caught reading behind her textbook in science class. I used to dream of being a writer—in fact, I still have a journal from middle school where everything in it is written like backflap copy for imaginary books. Like I said, AWKWARD! Somewhere along the line, I stopped believing writing could be a career, though writing a novel was always at the top of my bucket list. When I turned 30, I decided to go for it. I finished my first draft of my first novel the day I went into labor with my son—and he was 17 days overdue! It felt like a sign that I was supposed to finish that book. I was wrong; the book was NOT good. But by the time I figured it out, it was too late—I was already writing another and I was hooked.

2. I was a very awkward, shy girl who loved to read too. Where did you get the idea for THE VIRTUE OF SIN?

There were actually two inspirations: a vacation and a dream. My family visited Koreshan State Park in Estero, Florida, which is the site of an abandoned ‘Utopian Community.’ So, basically a cult. A lot of the old buildings are still standing and I wandered around and read all about their lives and beliefs and took a ton of notes for what I thought would be a novel about a cult that practices celibacy, and the fall-out when a woman becomes impregnated by the cult leader. But I abandoned that idea pretty shortly after returning home. A few months later, I had a very vivid dream about a boy and a girl who embrace and speak for the first time just before she is married off to someone else. I was intrigued by those dream characters and just started writing, wanting to explore the idea of what—if anything—would push them to break the rules to be together. It wasn’t until fairly late in the first draft that I realized both experiences were part of the same story.

3. I love how your travels inspired your story. I've had that happen too. Your book tackles living in a religious cult. I know from your website that you never lived in one. What research did you do so that you could create an accurate portrayal of what that is like?

A lot of reading and imagination! I read everything I could get my hands on from actual cult survivors—there are some really courageous and amazing stories out there! I also listened to a lot of podcasts about cults—my favorite is Oh No Ross and Carrie. When I initially started writing, I was excited about the idea of creating my very own religion, but that faded pretty quickly when I realized how hard it was going to be to manufacture all these rules! I wanted the Children of Daniel to be believable as a cult, but I also wanted it to be unique. It was a hard balance to achieve.

4. It sounds like Miriam must go through a huge emotional challenge and growth in the story. And it may be even more difficult because she’s been taught not to express herself as a girl. Share a bit about her growth as a character.

I’m going to try to do this without spoilers, so here goes! Miriam was so much fun to write, because
she is so curious. All of the adults in her life are worried that her curiosity—and her mouth—will be her downfall. But she has this voice inside her that, while she can’t identify it, she also can’t silence it. And that voice doesn’t always agree with what she’s been taught. Whether you call that a conscience or a moral compass or an angel on your shoulder, I think we all have some kind of inner guide that helps us distinguish between right and wrong. But we also have other influences—family, friends, society—that help us make those hard decisions. Miriam really doesn’t, at least not until she meets Aaron. Then she has to make up her own mind about what she believes in.   

5. What was a challenge that you had in writing THE VIRTUE OF SIN either before or after you signed your book deal. How did you overcome it?

The ending was always a challenge—both before and after the book deal. I can’t say too much without spoiling, but the last forty or so pages changed several times between signing with my agent and publication. I had help, thankfully, in the form of an amazing critique partner and a very gifted editor. I love the ending now; it feels absolutely right for the characters and their journey. But it was a long road to get there!

6. Glad you had the help. You’ve also had over 20 short stories published. Has writing short stories helped you in writing this book? If so, how?

I don’t have a writing degree, so short stories were really the bulk of my writing education. Twenty published means at least twice as many written, and I learned something from each one—how to write believable characters, how to craft a plot, how to survive rejection. It was much easier to practice on short works, especially when I had small children at home. I could hold a whole story in my head, while a novel was a messier thing. Though I have a few ‘practice novels’ under my belt as well.

7. Sounds like writing short stories is a great way to learn about the craft of writing. Your agent is Barbara Poelle. Share how she became your agent and what your road to publication was like.

It took me a few years and several drafts to find the heart of this story. I’d queried previous versions of the novel, but something wasn’t working. I’d actually gotten two R&R’s from two different agents, both of whom passed on the novel after the revisions, which at the time was heartbreaking. After the second rejection and a head-slap moment where I realized it was more a coming of age story than it was a romance, I finished another rewrite in January of 2017 and came up with a short list of possible agents. Luckily, Barbara was on that list, and she responded with a full request the same day I queried her, then called the next morning to offer representation. We did another round of revisions before going out on sub, and in July of that year I signed a two-book deal with Liza Kaplan at Philomel Books. I am incredibly lucky to be working with such strong, talented women who have really championed my work.  

8. Wow! You really worked on this. How do you plan to market your book? How are you balancing this with your writing schedule, job as a librarian, and family life?

In terms of marketing, I am fortunate to have a great team behind me at Penguin Random House. They’ve been fantastic at helping get the word out! I’m also (slowly) learning to use social media (I’m on Instagram now! Follow me there!) and I’ll be doing some reading and signing events, as well as presentations at some local book festivals. As far as balance, I’ve had to get strict about my writing time. I used to only write when I was alone and had a couple of hours free, and even that often get pushed aside for everything from laundry to doctor appointments to car-pooling. Now, pretty much everyone in my family now knows that if I’m in my writing shed, I’m unavailable! So far it hasn’t affected my work schedule at the library, but I’ve banked a few vacation days just in case I get into trouble with the deadline for the next book.

9. You are also a children’s librarian. How do we best find children’s librarians and connect with them when our books release? Do you have any suggestions on how to get our books on library shelves throughout the country?

I think social media is a great way to connect with almost anyone these days. There are a lot of librarians on twitter, and the great thing about librarians is we love books! We also love writers, so don’t be afraid to reach out to them with publication news or to ask them about hosting events. As far as getting books on shelves, I think most libraries use one of the bigger distributors for ordering—Baker & Taylor or Ingram. So a feature or ad in their publications might have a better chance of reaching a librarian audience, or at least getting your book on their radar.  

10. What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on another contemporary YA about a sixteen-year-old girl whose small-town life is thrown into turmoil when her star athlete boyfriend turns eighteen and their relationship becomes a source of controversy, gossip, and scandal. While it has some similar themes to THE VIRTUE OF SIN, it’s also been a very different experience writing about teens living in the ‘real world’ of high school, prom, SATs, and social media. After spending years immersed in New Jerusalem, it felt a bit like emerging from a cave. I think I can relate to Miriam even more now!

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Shannon. You can find Shannon at INSERT YOUR LINKS

Twitter: @shannonschuren
Instagram: @schurenauthor


Shannon has generously offered an ARC of THE VIRTUE OF SIN 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 June 222nd. 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. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. The book giveaway is U.S. and Canada.

Here's what's coming up:


Monday, June 10 I have an interview with author Lamar Giles and a giveaway of his MG fantasy/adventure THE LAST LAST-DAY-OF-SUMMER

Wednesday, June 12 I have an agent spotlight interview with Kerstin Wolf and a query critique giveaway

Friday, June 14 I am participating in the Splash Into Summer Giveaway Hop

Monday, June 17 I have an interview with author Brenda Rufener and a giveaway of her YA contemporary SINCE WE LAST SPOKE

Hope to see you on Monday!