CURRENT GIVEAWAYS

Here are my current Giveaway Contests

RISE OF THE DRAGON MOON through August 24th

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

Melissa Richeson Agent Spotlight Interview & Query Critique Giveaway on 8/26/19

Marlo Berliner Agent Spotlight Interview & Query Critique Giveaway on 9/16/19

Jessica Reino Agent Spotlight Interview & Query Critique Giveaway on 10/28/19

Danielle Burby/Rosary Munda Guest Post & Query Critique Giveaway on 10/2/19

Stacy Glick/Jennifer Camicca Guest Post & Query Critique Giveaway on 10/14/19

LITERARY RAMBLES IS LIVE AGAIN AND EXTENDING NEWLY RELEASED MG AND YA BOOK GIVEAWAY HOP

Hi All! I am terribly sorry but the blog was offline for about a week because our domain name with GoDaddy expired. I was on vacation when it happened, and it took me a few days to reach Casey, my former blog partner, to renew it. I am so sorry about that. I'm SO relieved that she took care of it right away.

I am extending the deadline to enter the Newly Released MG & YA Book Giveaway until August 31st because of this.

Here's what's coming up:

Monday, August 26th I have an agent spotlight interview and query critique giveaway with Melissa Richeson

Wednesday, September 4th I have an interview with debut author Mara Rutherford and a giveaway of her YA fantasy CROWN OF CORAL AND PEARL and my IWSG post

Monday, September 9th I have an interview with debut author Sara Faring and a giveaway of her YA psychological thriller THE TENTH GIRL

Monday, September 16th I have an agent spotlight interview and query critique giveaway with Marlo Berliner

Monday, September 23rd I have a guest post by Martin Cavannagh from Reedsy

Hope to see you on Monday, August 26th!

NEWLY RELEASED MG AND YA BOOK GIVEAWAY

Happy Monday Everyone! Today I'm doing a newly released MG and YA book giveaway. It's an opportunity to spotlight some new books I can't otherwise feature, give you another chance to win recent debut author books I've shared, and shout out again about followers' newly released books.

I'm doing this because there is no giveaway hop this month. I'm starting this feature on a trial basis and will continue it if I get a good response.

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.  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 of this blog and leave a comment telling me what book you want or that you want the gift card through August 31st. 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:

Monday, August 26th I have an agent spotlight interview and query critique giveaway with Melissa Richeson

Wednesday, September 4th I have an interview with debut author Mara Rutherford and a giveaway of her YA fantasy CROWN OF CORAL AND PEARL and my IWSG post

Monday, September 9th I have an interview with debut author Sara Faring and a giveaway of her YA psychological thriller THE TENTH GIRL

Monday, September 16th I have an agent spotlight interview and query critique giveaway with Marlo Berliner

Monday, September 23rd I have a guest post by Martin Cavannagh from Reedsy

Hope to see you on Monday, August 26th!











GABRIELLE BYRNE INTERVIEW AND RISE OF THE DRAGON MOON GIVEAWAY AND IWSG POST


Happy Wednesday Everyone! Hope you're having a great summer. I just got back from a fun weekend with my mom visiting my aunt, uncle, and cousins. And I am going to Dallas later this month with my daughter to visit my late husband's family. It's been my best summer since my husband died.

Today I’m thrilled to have debut author Gabrielle Byrne share about her debut MG fantasy RISE OF THE DRAGON MOON. Her book is a Junior Library Guild selection It sounds like it has beautiful world building and a main character with mysterious past, which is my kind of book. Can’t wait to read this.

Follower News


Angela Brown has a new adult book release, PEEL. Here's a blurb: 
Divinia “Divvy” Simone loves her daughter and making time for her passion for writing. Time for a love life? Not so much, especially not after being a divorced, single mother for several years.
That is, until Vance Mallard.
With Vance’s help, Divvy must put together her best friend’s wedding in under thirty days. The first week is the most crucial of all. Planning locations, music, and food are all par for the course. Peeling back the scarred layers protecting her heart? No way.
Vance has a plan of his own. And…
In one week, everything could change.
And a few links: 


Before I get to Gabrielle’s interview, I also 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: The co-hosts this month are Renee Scattergood,Sadira Stone, Jacqui Murray, Tamara Narayan, and LG Keltner!


Optional Question: Has your writing ever taken you by surprise?

There's two ways that my writing has taken me by surprise since I restarted writing for myself again. First, I've gotten better in writing since I took a break and focused on my contract writing job.

Second, I'm surprised where my story goes sometimes. I have a general outline but some important plot points and other parts of the story have changed in dramatic ways as I listen to my critique partners' suggestions and I try to create characters and a story line that is a little different.

How has your writing surprised you?


Now onto Gabrielle's interview. Here’s a blurb of RISE OF THE DRAGON MOON from Goodreads

The ice never forgives.

The ice never forgets.

Princess Toli may be heir to the throne, but she longs to be a fierce hunter and warrior. Alone in a frozen world, her queendom is at the mercy of the dragons that killed her father, and Toli is certain it’s only a matter of time before they come back to destroy what’s left of her family.

When the dragons rise and seize her mother, Toli will do anything to save her— even trust a young dragon who may be the only key to the Queen's release.

With her sister and best friend at her side, Toli makes the treacherous journey across the vast ice barrens to Dragon Mountain, where long-held secrets await. Bear-cats are on their trail, and dragons stalk them, but the greatest danger might be a mystery buried in Toli’s past.

Hi Gabrielle! Thanks so much for joining us.

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

Hi Everyone, and thanks so much for having me, Natalie! I’ve always loved to write--and in fact, wrote three books before I even decided to “be a writer”. It was really my first writing conference, and workshops on how to pitch to agents, that lit a fire under me to get published. My brain just hadn’t made the leap, from writing books to publishing them. Really, although of course they’re related, those are almost two separate journeys in my mind.

2. Where did you get the idea for RISE OF THE DRAGON MOON? 

It developed organically from two initial things. I knew I wanted Toli to be my main character. She started as a secondary character in a different book, and just took up residence in my brain. The other thing was the cold. I wanted to build Toli’s life around the idea of stories being told around a fire. I wanted to explore ideas about trust between siblings and between friends in the context of doubting those stories.

3. Awesome that Toli started as a secondary character in another story.The world you created is cold and icy but beautiful. What was your world building process like? What advice do you have on this for other fantasy writers?

For me, the story develops in tandem with the world building. I have a strong background in science, so I use that a lot too. I start with one or two things I want, and build around those things by asking questions about how needs are fulfilled. For example, in a cold world, how does each animal (or person) stay warm? What do they eat? What does their prey eat? What happens when they die? For the humans, what are their beliefs around each of those categories? Each question builds a richer place (and more questions). I never use all of it. I’d say only a third to half makes it into the book. I’m also a big believer in the setting being a character. Really, that’s about sharing emotional connections to the world, and making it feel real enough for the reader to expect things. For example, if your house smells like pancakes every Sunday morning, then one Sunday you wake up and it smells like burned rubber, you don’t need anyone to explain something’s wrong. The reader knows it, because they know the world. They have expectations that can be fulfilled, or countered.

4. I can see how science influences your world building. Toli, your main character, sounds like a strong leader, but also has her flaws. Share a bit about her and how her character developed as you told her story.

Toli was tough from the start--strong, but myopic. She can’t see that needing people doesn’t make her weak, and that making mistakes doesn’t make her a failure. What started as a kind-of social awkwardness and discomfort with feelings, evolved into the idea that her own flawed view of herself, and misunderstanding of her role in the world would impact all her decisions. Those decisions have consequences that move the story forward.

5. Share a challenge you had in revising your story with your agent or publisher. What did you learn from the process?

Tracking the days and the time were a big challenge. Instead of a sun, there are two moons that each rise and set differently on Ire. Over the course of a couple big edits, a lot of Toli’s journey shifted around, and the rising and setting of each moon, and the passage of time got all jumbled up. It took a while to untangle it. Now I keep notes that specifically track of the time of day, and passage of time in a story, at the start and end of each chapter. 

6. Your agent is Catherine Drayton. Tell us how she became your agent and what your road to publication was like.

I queried Catherine with a book I had worked on as a Pitch Wars mentee. She loved it, and offered rep! Rise of the Dragon Moon was our third book together. From the time I went to that first writing conference that got me amped to publish, to the time I sold my debut to Macmillan, was about seven years. Depending on how you count (which always seems to be a question with authors), I think ROTDM was about the seventh or eighth book that I’d written.

7. That's great how Catherine worked with you on more than one book. How have you been building your social media platform and planning for your release? What are your plans to promote your book?

I work full time and have kids, so my time is really limited. Everything I’ve heard is that it’s better to
be fully in one or two places that you enjoy, than to be in lots of places in a less engaged way. I really enjoy twitter - so it’s my platform of choice. Some people know me there because of Pitch Wars, which is lovely. I do have a facebook account for family and friends (including author friends), and I have an instagram account that I’m terrible at keeping up with, but really Twitter is my happy place. I’ve been able to do some great panel events, including at the Emerald City ComiCon and the SFWA annual conference. Those were a blast, and it’s always fun and enlightening to engage with other authors. I also hope to work with libraries and schools to the extent that I’m able, and I’m especially excited to maybe do some workshops around worldbuilding through a natural history lens, since that’s my background. I’ll be piloting that at the GeekGirl Con in Seattle in November.

8. You have also been a #PitchWars mentor. Tell us about PitchWars and how this can help an aspiring author get to the next step in terms of obtaining an agent and publishing contract.

PitchWars is amazing for a lot of reasons. Yes, it can help people reach agents, and eventually get published, and for some it’s done just that. But one this it can definitely do is improve craft. It’s a great place to me other serious aspiring writers, and exchange material and experiences. For me--and for lots of other people, the benefits of Pitch Wars are much more about building a community of committed writers that you can rely on to help develop your craft, and eventually, your career. While there have certainly been big successes through Pitch Wars, writers are more likely to find their agents through the query process (as I did), but participating does give authors the opportunity to improve, and build a network of writers at the same time--a priceless and ongoing resource.

9. What are you working on now?

Right now I’m working on a new middle grade fantasy for Macmillan/Imprint--The Edge of Strange Hollow, about a girl named Poppy Sunshine who wants to hunt cursed objects in a fairy tale forest called the Grimwood.

Thanks so much for your advice, Gabrielle. You can find Gabrielle at:


Twitter: @gkbyrne 
Instagram: gkbyrnebooks

Gabrielle has generously offered an ARC of RISE OF THE DRAGON MOON 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 August 24th. 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 ARC giveaway is U.S. and Canada.

Here's what's coming up next:

Monday, August 12th I'm doing a monthly newly released MG and YA giveaway if there is no giveaway hop in August

Monday, August 26th I have an agent spotlight interview and query critique giveaway with Melissa Richeson

Hope to see you on Monday, August 12th!