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New Podcast Ep & Where I'll Be This Week! (Also $1.99 E-Book!)

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 15 May 2017 · 78 views

Lots going on this week! First off, there is a new episode of the <a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/p/podcast.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/p/podcast.html[/url]" target="_blank">Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire podcast</a> available. This week's guest is Alyssa Palombo, historical fiction author of <i>The Violinist of Venice</i> and <i>The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence</i>. Alyssa joined me to talk about querying a novel that wasn't ready yet, immersing herself in the time period of her characters, the shifting standards of beauty from age to age, and how to balance blogging and writing fiction.<br /><br /><iframe [url="data-link="]data-link="https://www.podbean.com/media/player/vtppv-6ace1b?from=yiiadmin"[/url] data-name="pb-iframe-player" frameborder="0" height="100" scrolling="no" [url="src="]src="https://www.podbean.com/media/player/vtppv-6ace1b?from=yiiadmin"[/url] width="100%"></iframe><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a [url="href="]href="http://www.barberton.lib.oh.us/sites/default/files/images/Mindy%20McGinnis%20WEB_opt.jpg"[/url] imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" [url="src="]src="http://www.barberton.lib.oh.us/sites/default/files/images/Mindy%20McGinnis%20WEB_opt.jpg"[/url] /></a></div>I have two appearances this week. Tuesday, May 16th @ 6PM&nbsp;I will be at the <a [url="href="]href="http://www.barberton.lib.oh.us/"[/url] target="_blank">Barberton Public Library</a> to discuss Blood, Brains &amp; Lobotomies. By that I mean I'll be discussing <i>A Madness So Discreet</i>.&nbsp;Learn about how doctors treated brain injuries in the 1890’s and the different aspects of care for the mentally ill – for better or for worse. Also included is a brief history of The Athens Lunatic Asylum, the setting for the novel.<br /><br /><br /><br />I will also be at the <a [url="href="]href="https://www.cuyahogalibrary.org/Events/Event-Results/Event-Detail.aspx?id=114021"[/url] target="_blank">Strongsville Branch of the Cuyahoga County Library</a> on Wednesday May 17&nbsp;@ 7 PM, where I'll be discussing the many different threads and inspirations that came together to become <i>Given to the Sea</i>, my first fantasy.<br /><br />And - <a [url="href="]href="https://www.amazon.com/Madness-So-Discreet-Mindy-McGinnis-ebook/dp/B00S58E7E4/ref=sr_1_3_twi_kin_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1494897706&amp;sr=8-3&amp;keywords=mindy+mcginnis"[/url] target="_blank">the e-book of A Madness So Discreet is still only $1.99!</a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

<a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/05/new-podcast-ep-where-ill-be-this-week.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/05/new-podcast-ep-where-ill-be-this-week.html[/url]" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>


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The Saturday Slash

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 13 May 2017 · 83 views

Meet my Hatchet of Death (or, some other colorful description&nbsp;<a href="[url="http://rclewisbooks.com/"]http://rclewisbooks.com/[/url]" target="_blank">RC Lewis</a>&nbsp;and I come up with at any given moment). This is how I edit myself, it is how I edit others. If you think you want to play with me and my hatchet,&nbsp;<a [url="href="]href="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/p/query-critiques.html">shoot[/url] us an email</a>.<br /><br /><a [url="href="]href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oZ52KunZpiM/T_zy5Q521TI/AAAAAAAAArU/EQOi-3pr48Q/s400/NewestSatSlash.jpg"[/url] imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oZ52KunZpiM/T_zy5Q521TI/AAAAAAAAArU/EQOi-3pr48Q/s320/NewestSatSlash.jpg"[/url] width="247" /></a>We all know the first line of a query is your "hook." I call the last line the "sinker." You want it to&nbsp;punch them in the face, in a nice, friendly kind of way that makes them unable to forget you after having read the 300 other queries in their inbox.<br /><br />If you're looking for query advice, but are slightly intimidated by my claws, blade, or just my rolling googly-eyes, check out the query critique boards over at&nbsp;<a [url="href="]href="http://www.agentqueryconnect.com/"[/url] target="_blank">AgentQueryConnect</a>. This is where I got my start, with advice from people smarter than me. Don't be afraid to ask for help with the most critical first step of your writing journey - the query. My comments appear in&nbsp;<span style="color: #6aa84f;">green</span>. &nbsp; &nbsp; <br /><br />Warrior, wizard, slave: no matter how powerful Andre Hawthorne becomes, he knows only death can set him free. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Not a bad hook, but the last part of the sentence feels like it's shading the first three words as ascending levels of power, but I feel like the last noun cancels that out?&nbsp;</span>He is the property of Mara Tsaryov, the ruthless Witch of Shadowfall, named for the Lithuanian forest where she was born. Mara bought Andre as a child, bonded him to her with magic, trained him to guard and protect her—and now that he’s grown into a charismatic young man, Mara has fallen in love with him. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">So he's a slave in the sense that he's her servant and unable to unbond from her because of magic? Also, is Mara ageless or is she a cougar?&nbsp;</span>But in 1790, an aristocrat of New Russia would never permit herself to fall in love with a black slave, a living piece of her property who doesn’t even desire her. Mara despises her feelings, and she longs to kill Andre to rid herself of her shame. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Interesting. I think you can get these ideas across in less words though. Look for easy cuts, or different phrasing.</span><br /><br />But this particular slave is too useful for Mara to kill, and her political schemes would be impossible without Andre’s skills. His magic protects her chateaux in the Carpathians, Mara’s favorite home and the seat of her power. Frustrated with Andre’s indifference, Mara decides to enhance her physical appearance, <strike>and dress to inspire his lust</strike>, in order to regain control of herself, and of him.<br /><br /><strike>So </strike>when a gifted seamstress in Kiev loses her husband, and must sell herself into slavery to keep her family safe, Mara is only too happy to acquire this slave. A Mongolian witch raised by Cossacks, Sienna Katyev will never be as powerful as Mara—but Sienna has her own kind of indomitable strength. As she works alongside Andre inside Mara’s chateaux, the two become friends, and then lovers. If Mara knew <strike>how they felt,</strike> she would kill Sienna, so Andre begins using his magic to free her. The more secrets Andre must keep from Mara, the more perilous freeing Sienna becomes, as political intrigue and love bring Andre toward a violent confrontation he knows he can’t win.<br /><br />The Shadowfall Witch (100,000 words) will appeal to fans of historical fantasy such as Juliet Marillier’s Heart’s Blood and Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus.<br /><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;">This is actually quite good, just overly wordy. You also mention multiple times a political intrigue that sounds like it supplies a lot of the pacing (just guessing) but I have no idea what that might be. Right now it reads like a magical realism historical romance, which, while that's really cool, you need to hint more about what exactly that is, without lengthening the query by much. I made some slash throughs above as examples of where you can cut wording and still maintain your meaning. Look for similar places in the query, make the cuts, then get the political angle in there with a sentence or two.</span><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;"><br /></span><span style="color: #6aa84f;">Your word count raises questions about length. While your genre allows for such a hefty WC, the fact that there are multiple examples of unnecessary wording in your query, I have to wonder if the same is true of the manuscript. Read through it with this in mind to trim down that WC.</span>

<a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/05/the-saturday-slash_13.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/05/the-saturday-slash_13.html[/url]" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>


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Book Talk & ARC Giveaway: WHEN I AM THROUGH WITH YOU by Stephanie Kuehn

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 12 May 2017 · 84 views

My book talks are coming at you from a librarian, not a reviewer. You won't find me talking about style or craft, why I think this could've been better or what worked or didn't work. I only do book talks on books I liked and want other people to know about. So if it's here I probably think it won't injure your brain if you read it.<br /><div><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1479376156l/32957193.jpg"]https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1479376156l/32957193.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1479376156l/32957193.jpg"[/url] width="213" /></a></div><div>Ben Gibson has always been pretty sure that he doesn't deserve his girlfriend, Rose. When she goes away for six weeks to Lima, he worries that things will be different between them - and they are, but Ben doesn't think it's anything they can't get through.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div>Then a school hiking trip goes terribly wrong. Strangers show up in their campsite, a student brings along a gun, and one of Ben's blinding migraines takes over. Someone ends up dead, and someone else killed them - Ben knows all about it, and now that everything is over, all he has is time.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div>So he'll tell you exactly what happened.<br /><br />Want to help me with all the mailing costs? I do giveaways at least once week, sometimes more. It can add up. If you feel so inclined as to donate a little to defray my mailing costs, it would be much appreciated! Donating has no impact on your chances of winning.</div><br /><form [url="action="]action="https://www.paypal.com/fk/cgi-bin/webscr"[/url] method="post" name="_xclick"><input name="business" type="hidden" value="bigblackcat97@gmail.com" /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><input name="item_name" type="hidden" value="Mindy's Mailing Costs" />*********************************************************************************</div><input name="currency_code" type="hidden" value="USD" /><br /><input name="amount" type="hidden" value="00.00" /><br /><input alt="Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure!" border="0" name="submit" [url="src="]src="http://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/x-click-butcc-donate.gif"[/url] type="image" /><br /></form><br /><a class="rcptr" data-raflid="2071810b250" data-template="" data-theme="classic" [url="href="]href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2071810b250/"[/url] id="rcwidget_6fet01r3" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><br /><script [url="src="]src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script><br[/url] /><br /><br />

<a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/05/book-talk-arc-giveaway-when-i-am.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/05/book-talk-arc-giveaway-when-i-am.html[/url]" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>


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E-book of A MADNESS SO DISCREET $1.99 Today!

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 11 May 2017 · 63 views

I just noticed this on Amazon - the <a href="[url="https://www.amazon.com/Madness-So-Discreet-Mindy-McGinnis-ebook/dp/B00S58E7E4/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8"]https://www.amazon.com/Madness-So-Discreet-Mindy-McGinnis-ebook/dp/B00S58E7E4/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8[/url]" target="_blank">Kindle version of A MADNESS SO DISCREET</a> is $1.99 today!<br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><a [url="href="]href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-s0t2zXXwd-o/WRSDrg3Q6CI/AAAAAAAAD7Y/jkvKr4-T394IpX-VMp5e4z7otrmTFviHQCK4B/s1600/24376529.jpg"[/url] imageanchor="1"><img border="0" height="640" [url="src="]src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-s0t2zXXwd-o/WRSDrg3Q6CI/AAAAAAAAD7Y/jkvKr4-T394IpX-VMp5e4z7otrmTFviHQCK4B/s640/24376529.jpg"[/url] width="422" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">Mindy McGinnis, the acclaimed author of Not a Drop to Drink and In a Handful of Dust, combines murder, madness, and mystery in a beautifully twisted gothic historical thriller perfect for fans of novels such as Asylum and The Diviners as well as television's True Detective and American Horror Story.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">Grace Mae is already familiar with madness when family secrets and the bulge in her belly send her to an insane asylum—but it is in the darkness that she finds a new lease on life. When a visiting doctor interested in criminal psychology recognizes Grace's brilliant mind beneath her rage, he recruits her as his assistant. Continuing to operate under the cloak of madness at crime scenes allows her to gather clues from bystanders who believe her less than human. Now comfortable in an ethical asylum, Grace finds friends—and hope. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who will bring her shaky sanity and the demons in her past dangerously close to the surface.</div>

<a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/05/e-book-of-madness-so-discreet-199-today.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/05/e-book-of-madness-so-discreet-199-today.html[/url]" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>


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Rosalyn Eves On Writing Smarter For Book Two & A Double Giveaway!

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 09 May 2017 · 78 views

Published authors face a new set of pressures, whether you’re under contract or trying to snag another deal, you’re a professional now, with the pressures of a published novelist compounded with the still-present nagging self-doubt of the noobie. How to deal? With this in mind I created the SNOB (Second Novel Omnipresent Blues). Today's guest for the SNOB is Rosalyn Eves, author of the well-received fantasy <a href="[url="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31020402-blood-rose-rebellion?ac=1&amp;from_search=true"]https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31020402-blood-rose-rebellion?ac=1&amp;from_search=true[/url]" target="_blank">BLOOD ROSE REBELLION</a>.<br /><br /><b>Is it hard to leave behind the first novel and focus on the second?</b><br /><br /><i>In my case, the second book is a continuation of the first, since Blood Rose Rebellion sold as a trilogy. But that brings with it its own set of challenges! It took me a while to figure out why book two was so hard to write—essentially, book 2 in a trilogy is the mucky middle. The WHOLE book is the middle. The challenge for me was to figure out a way to give the book its own arc, with some kind of resolution, while still leaving things open-ended enough for book three.</i><br /><i><br /></i> <i>It was nice to come back to a familiar world, at least—most of the character development and world-building work happened with the first book.&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><b>At what point do you start diverting your energies from promoting your debut and writing / polishing / editing your second?</b><br /><br /><i>I’m still trying to figure this out! Mostly my priorities are driven by deadlines. When I have edits due on book two, it takes priority. As soon as my edits are in, I shift my focus to catching up on the promotional stuff I need to do (like writing this post!). The harder thing right now is to find time to draft book three—editing book two and promoting are absorbing a lot of time.&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><b>Your first book landed an agent and an editor, and hopefully some fans. Who are you writing the second one for? Them, or yourself?</b><br /><i><br /></i> <i>The first book I definitely wrote for myself, but the second book was in many ways harder to write because of all the different possible audiences. I’d been warned that writing a book under contract was hard, but I still wasn’t prepared for how difficult it was. For the first little while, every time I sat down to draft, a voice in my head asked: is this worth the money your publisher wants to pay you for it? And of course, being a first draft, it never was.&nbsp;</i><br /><i><br /></i> <i>I’m also writing with readers in mind: what kinds of things have readers responded positively to in the first book? How can I include more of the same while also telling a different story? But I have to be careful how much I do this—I tend to want to make everyone happy, and it’s impossible for any one story to do that. Sometimes even good reviews can mess with my head, as when a reader says they hope to see more of something in the next book, and then I start asking myself: do I have enough of that element? Should there be more? I have to balance the needs of my audience against the needs of the story—what choices serve the story best?</i><br /><br /><b>Is there a new balance of time management to address once you’re a professional author?&nbsp;</b><br /><br /><i>As I said above, I’m still trying to figure the balance out. Interacting with readers and doing book promotion are still pretty new to me, and it’s tempting sometimes to sink all my time into those, especially when the writing is hard and I’m looking to procrastinate. (And interacting with readers is much more fun than slogging through a draft.) I think for me it’s important to set boundaries on myself and my time—to say I have x amount of time for promoting today and stick to that, or none of the writing gets done.&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><b>What did you do differently the second time around, with the perspective of a published author?</b><br /><br /><i>I think I’ve been writing smarter. I hit a snag about 75K into book two that I could not resolve. Instead of just plowing through and thinking, “I’ll fix this in revisions,” I took some time away from the story and replotted it. I think having a more structure as I wrote meant that I didn’t waste as much time following plot bunnies—and it gave me more time for revising before submitting to my editor, who was impressed with how polished it was for a first draft—until I told her it wasn’t actually a first draft.</i><br /><i><br /></i> <i>One thing that I’m finding a lot of authors struggle with in the second book is having to turn in a fairly rough draft. When the editor buys the first book, it’s been polished and revised multiple times. But with books under contract, particularly second books in a series, there often isn’t the time for that kind of revision and polish. It’s hard to get over the gap between what the first book looked like when the editor saw it and what the second book looks like. I know editors are used to it, but a big part of me cringed when I hit send on my draft (but I also didn’t want to waste time polishing it if my editor hated it and wanted me to rewrite it—which has happened to several authors I know).</i><br /><br /><b>Rosalyn is super generous, and is offering to giveaway not only a copy of BLOOD ROSE REBELLION, but also GIVEN TO THE SEA! Enter below - winners can be from anywhere that Book Depository will ship to!</b><br /><b><br /><br /><a class="rcptr" data-raflid="2071810b249" data-template="" data-theme="classic" [url="href="]href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2071810b249/"[/url] id="rcwidget_bf3k7w7c" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><br /><script [url="src="]src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></b>[/url]

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Reddit AMA & New Podcast Episode!

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 08 May 2017 · 77 views

Hey followers - lots going on today!<br /><br />I am on <a href="[url="https://www.reddit.com/r/YAwriters/comments/69yvuw/i_am_mindy_mcginnis_ya_novelist_ama/"]https://www.reddit.com/r/YAwriters/comments/69yvuw/i_am_mindy_mcginnis_ya_novelist_ama/[/url]" target="_blank">Reddit all day today</a> doing an AMA (ask me anything). Feel free to pop in and... ask me anything. I will answer. It could get interesting.<br /><br />And there's a new podcast episode up with fellow Ohio author, YALSA Top Ten Teen nominee, and all around funny guy Kurt Dinan. We talk about querying, short stories, writing humor, as well as unlikely poisonous substances and our porn names.<br /><br /><iframe [url="data-link="]data-link="https://www.podbean.com/media/player/x3hfz-6a8ed7?from=yiiadmin"[/url] data-name="pb-iframe-player" frameborder="0" height="100" scrolling="no" [url="src="]src="https://www.podbean.com/media/player/x3hfz-6a8ed7?from=yiiadmin"[/url] width="100%"></iframe><br />

<a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/05/reddit-ama-new-podcast-episode.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/05/reddit-ama-new-podcast-episode.html[/url]" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>


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Sunday Surprise! Book Talk & ARC Giveaway: THAT THING WE CALL A HEART by Sheba Karim

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 07 May 2017 · 88 views

I usually don't post on Sunday's, but I've been tearing through the ARC pile lately - all to your benefit. My book talks are coming at you from a librarian, not a reviewer. You won't find me talking about style or craft, why I think this could've been better or what worked or didn't work. I only do book talks on books I liked and want other people to know about. So if it's here I probably think it won't injure your brain if you read it.<br /><div><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1491125291l/25752164.jpg"]https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1491125291l/25752164.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1491125291l/25752164.jpg"[/url] width="211" /></a></div><div>Shabnam thinks she might be falling in love, and the only person she wants to tell about it is her best friend, Farah. The problem is, they haven't spoken in awhile. Shabnam always tried not to stand out too much in their mostly white private school, but when Farah came back from a visit to family on the coast wearing a headscarf, their friendship began to cool. It hit a wall - hard - when one of the cool kids asked Farah if she had a bomb in her backpack... and Shabnam didn't stand up for her.</div><div><br /></div><div>But that was in the past, and Shabnam would like to patch things up with Farah. Even if she can't understand how a feminist could wear a headscarf, she can still respect Farah's choice to wear it as part of her Muslim identity... can't she? But when Farah isn't as impressed with Shabnam's white boyfriend as she had hoped, Shabnam has to struggle with whether the concerns Farah has about him are legitimate, or just another roadblock in their friendship.</div><br /><form [url="action="]action="https://www.paypal.com/fk/cgi-bin/webscr"[/url] method="post" name="_xclick"><input name="business" type="hidden" value="bigblackcat97@gmail.com" /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><input name="item_name" type="hidden" value="Mindy's Mailing Costs" />*********************************************************************************</div><input name="currency_code" type="hidden" value="USD" /><br /><input name="amount" type="hidden" value="00.00" /><br /><input alt="Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure!" border="0" name="submit" [url="src="]src="http://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/x-click-butcc-donate.gif"[/url] type="image" /><br /></form><br /><a class="rcptr" data-raflid="2071810b248" data-template="" data-theme="classic" [url="href="]href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2071810b248/"[/url] id="rcwidget_1hamb4sq" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><br /><script [url="src="]src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script><br[/url] />

<a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/05/sunday-surprise-book-talk-arc-giveaway.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/05/sunday-surprise-book-talk-arc-giveaway.html[/url]" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>


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The Saturday Slash

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 06 May 2017 · 73 views

Meet my Hatchet of Death (or, some other colorful description&nbsp;<a href="[url="http://rclewisbooks.com/"]http://rclewisbooks.com/[/url]" target="_blank">RC Lewis</a>&nbsp;and I come up with at any given moment). This is how I edit myself, it is how I edit others. If you think you want to play with me and my hatchet,&nbsp;<a [url="href="]href="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/p/query-critiques.html">shoot[/url] us an email</a>.<br /><br /><a [url="href="]href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oZ52KunZpiM/T_zy5Q521TI/AAAAAAAAArU/EQOi-3pr48Q/s400/NewestSatSlash.jpg"[/url] imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oZ52KunZpiM/T_zy5Q521TI/AAAAAAAAArU/EQOi-3pr48Q/s320/NewestSatSlash.jpg"[/url] width="247" /></a>We all know the first line of a query is your "hook." I call the last line the "sinker." You want it to&nbsp;punch them in the face, in a nice, friendly kind of way that makes them unable to forget you after having read the 300 other queries in their inbox.<br /><br />If you're looking for query advice, but are slightly intimidated by my claws, blade, or just my rolling googly-eyes, check out the query critique boards over at&nbsp;<a [url="href="]href="http://www.agentqueryconnect.com/"[/url] target="_blank">AgentQueryConnect</a>. This is where I got my start, with advice from people smarter than me. Don't be afraid to ask for help with the most critical first step of your writing journey - the query. My comments appear in&nbsp;<span style="color: #6aa84f;">green</span>.<br /><br />Fearing Micah’s fanatic mother will convince him homosexulity is a sin, Charlie declines his acceptance to MIT and takes a job he got through his father’s military connections. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">There's some confusion here in that I don't know if the concern is that the mother will influence Micah or Charlie. Also, why would the mother be connected to an acceptance at MIT for Charlie?&nbsp;</span>Micah plans to move in with Charlie as soon as he turns 18, but after months of not seeing or hearing from Charlie, he begins to fall for his mother’s doctrine.<br /><br />Instead of developing technology for a government contractor, Charlie finds himself cut off from the outside world, using his inventions to kill. He tries to resist “The Boss,” but is tortured until he complies. Eventually, he manages to escape and find Micah.<br /><br />Together, the two boys head for New York City, where they disappear among the millions of people and Wi-Fi signals already living there. Finally away from his parents influence, Micah is free to make his own decisions about what his faith is and who he loves while Charlie attempts to secure his freedom. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">What does this mean? Freedom from what or who? Is he still in danger? And why?</span>&nbsp;They need to take down Charlie’s former employer, <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Why do they need to?</span> but as homeless teens with no supportive family, they have very few resources to work with.<br /><br />Complete at 52,000 words, Like Birds Under the City Sky is a young adult novel that blends elements of literary fiction with cyberpunk thriller. It appeals to readers who enjoy Valiant, Wire Walker, and Agents of Shield.<br /><br />I was the second place winner of Women on Writing’s Winter 2016 Flash Fiction Contest. My short fiction was published in <i>Helios Quarterly, Secrets of the Goat People, The Centropic Oracle, Dark Magic: Witches, Hackers and Robots, Youth Imagination</i> and <i>Spaceports &amp; Spidersilk</i>.<br /><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;">Great bio.</span><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;"><br /></span><span style="color: #6aa84f;">I think the biggest stumbling block for you here is going to be the meshing of these two disparate forms - coming of age and techno thriller. It feels like a jolt going from the identity issues in the first para, to tech and torture in the second. You need a smoother transition from one to the next. I would suggest talking more about Charlie's tech interest in the first para (why MIT? for example). It's not a bad query, it's just bumpy because of inherent genre issues.</span>

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Book Talk & ARC Giveaway: THE GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO VICE & VIRTUE by Mackenzie Lee

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 05 May 2017 · 72 views

<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div>My book talks are coming at you from a librarian, not a reviewer. You won't find me talking about style or craft, why I think this could've been better or what worked or didn't work. I only do book talks on books I liked and want other people to know about. So if it's here I probably think it won't injure your brain if you read it.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1492601464l/29283884.jpg"]https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1492601464l/29283884.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1492601464l/29283884.jpg"[/url] width="211" /></a></div>Henry Montague has never exactly had a hard life. The eldest son of landed gentry, his future has always been set, and cozy. Even though he may not want that for himself, it's still there for the taking - as is everything else. With good looks, money, and connections, Monty has gone whatever he wants - with whoever he wants - for most of his life. But when a romantic relationship with another boy at Eton gets him tossed out, and severely beaten by his father, Monty learns that his life of drinking and debauchery maybe at an end.<br /><br />With a brand new little brother, and the possibility of an heir that isn't an embarrassment, Monty's father is ready to call him quits. Ready to embark on their European tour with his best friend, Percy, Monty thinks it's his last hurrah - all the fun he can squeeze into a few months before Percy goes to law school and Monty accepts his place in the family. But his father has other ideas - this trip is instead going to be Monty's chance to prove he can grow up and behave - or else not bother coming home at all.<br /><br />With a chaperone and his studious younger sister along for the ride, Monty knows not only will there not be any fun, but there also will be no chance for him to reveal to Percy what his true feelings are. Choked with art, recitations, museums, and lectures, Monty has just about had enough until one night at Versailles when a young noblewoman sneaks him into a room for some fun - until the room's owner shows up. Fleeing France in the hopes of getting out head of his reputation, Percy forgets that he nicked a trinket from the room in Versailles for fun - until their carriage is halted, their driver killed, and only quick thinking on his sister's part saves their lives, leading the three teens on a mad dash through Europe while the try to figure out the importance of the box, and a few things about themselves.<br /><br />Want to help me with all the mailing costs? I do giveaways at least once week, sometimes more. It can add up. If you feel so inclined as to donate a little to defray my mailing costs, it would be much appreciated! Donating has no impact on your chances of winning.<br /><br /><form [url="action="]action="https://www.paypal.com/fk/cgi-bin/webscr"[/url] method="post" name="_xclick"><input name="business" type="hidden" value="bigblackcat97@gmail.com" /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><input name="item_name" type="hidden" value="Mindy's Mailing Costs" />*********************************************************************************</div><input name="currency_code" type="hidden" value="USD" /><br /><input name="amount" type="hidden" value="00.00" /><br /><input alt="Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure!" border="0" name="submit" [url="src="]src="http://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/x-click-butcc-donate.gif"[/url] type="image" /><br /></form><br /><a class="rcptr" data-raflid="2071810b247" data-template="" data-theme="classic" [url="href="]href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2071810b247/"[/url] id="rcwidget_4qe2jjps" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><br /><script [url="src="]src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script>[/url]

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Thursday Thoughts

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 04 May 2017 · 62 views

Thoughts lately...<br /><br />1) Do kangaroos put anything besides babies in their pouches?<br /><br />2) One day will the hang signal for "roll your window down" change because now we have power windows?<br /><br />3) Do you still call a cat's eyeteeth "canines?" Shouldn't they be "felines?"

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