May We Tell You Something About…Our AWESOME Contest Winners??

Reading Song of the Day: “Because I’m Awesome” by the Dollyrots

Throughout May (every now and then), we will be participating in the Blog Me MAYbe blogfest, which you can learn more about here 

Photo taken from:Gimme The Scoop

As promised, we’re here to announce the winners of the contest. First of all, thanks to those who took the time to enter and win one of TWO SIGNED copies of Jaime Reed’s Burning Emerald, the third book in the Cambion Chronicles. If you want to know more about Jaime check out last week’s contest post and an interview we did with her back in August here.

Okay, without further adieu, we are going to tell you about someone else! More precisely, TWO someone elses (yes we totally made that up). What are we going to tell you??? Well, here’e something….

JESS and MELANIE are now both winners of signed copies 


 Burning Emerald!

Photo Taken from VaBeachQuilter

Ladies, we will be in touch with more details soon!!! Congrats!

And for the rest of your lovelies, just to throw the question out there (and hopefully we’ll get a few responses) what kinds of contests do you all prefer?  A contest where you just comment, one that involves a form (with extra points for Twitter etc.), OR one with a creative writing assignment? Also, do you like to win free signed novels, writing utensils, candy/other edible goodies, etc? 

Thanks and your responses are greatly appreciated!


MAY We Tell You Something About…Jaime Reed (and a CONTEST!)!!

Reading Song of the Day: “People Are Strange” by The Doors

So we’ve been rather absent to our lovely blog. Instead of giving you a LONG boring list of excuses, we decided to treat you all with a CONTEST!

We’re giving away TWO copies of Jaime Reed’s Burning Emerald, Book Two of The Cambion Chronicles. If you haven’t checked out Living Violet (Book One)–umm, what are you waiting for?

Taken from

As a special treat, Jaime wrote about a real life supernatural occurrence in her quaint town:

Strange Encounter by Jaime Reed

I can say that I’m a bit like the character, Sam in the respect that nothing much happens in my quiet town. With little to do, the imagination runs wild and we dream of cool stuff happening and if lucky, make a career of writing about it.

Williamsburg, VA is rich with history and everyone has at least one ghost story to share. Some of those stories have been passed down and have become a test of courage to explore on a dare. I personally don’t believe in ghosts, and I’ve never had any encounters of the paranormal except one.

When I was seventeen, a friend of mine whose father had died took me to the grave site to pay her respects. I agreed, under the assumption that this visitation would occur in the daytime, not at twelve o’clock at night. This made less sense at seventeen than it does now, but there I was, riding shotgun in her car, trekking through the more rural areas of Virginia with no streetlights or cell phone.

When we finally got to the cemetery, she kept the headlights on in the car so we could see our way through the maze of graves. She lit some candles and knelt in front of her father’s headstone. While I kept a look out for police and creepy groundskeepers, I noticed her talking to the grave. Not just a simple prayer or some fond farewell, but a full-on conversation, answering questions only she could hear and nodding her head in confirmation. Suffice to say I was thoroughly freaked out and was ready to leave. She lingered a few more minutes before we walked back to the car.

When I asked her who she was talking to, she just shrugged and said her dad. As she pulled out of the parking spot, the headlights hit the cemetery, outlining trees, grave stones and surrounding buildings. Then the lights fell on something black and almost flat against the scenery. This dark silhouette took the shape of a man and stood directly behind a headstone, the same one my friend was kneeling in front of moments ago. It didn’t move, but things that stand still can be just as frightening as things that don’t. The car turned and the headlights swept away from the grave toward the road leading out of the cemetery. Though I couldn’t see the shape any more or was even sure if what I saw had eyes, I knew beyond all logic that it was watching us leave.

I never told my friend what I saw nor did I ever return to the cemetery. It doesn’t take much to spook me, but that event was sufficient to where I now avoid cemeteries at all costs. And I sure as hell would never go there at night. Some people run toward the bazaar and crave the excitement that comes with the unexplained, but I’d rather write about it in the safety of my home…with the lights on.

Spooky stuff, Jaime!
On to the contest…all you have to do is leave your name and email address in the comments. That’s it. We’ll pick one winner at random.
We’ll choose ANOTHER winner if you leave a comment with your own real life, spooky tale. The comment that creeps us out the most wins the other copy. Oh, yeah, AND BOTH COPIES WILL BE SIGNED!!! You have until Tuesday May 22nd at MIDNIGHT EST!
Again, TWO winners. Spooky comments. Let’s do this! 🙂 

Contest Winners AND An Interview with My Agent: Jennie Goloboy

Winning Song of the Day: “Jenny From the Block” by Jennifer Lopez

First off, thanks to all of you who entered the contest and who took the time to follow us on Tumblr and subscribe to our YouTube channel. We hope more of you will take part in our social media take-over later. In the mean time, we have some winners to announce!

So, that’s grammatically incorrect, because we have more than one, but you get the idea!!!

1. Leslie Wright!!!!
2. Melanie Conklin!!!!
3. Rachel Searles!!!!

Contact us at and rank the prizes from one to three. Here are the prizes once more: Jennie’s query critique, Dawn Frederick’s query critique, or the ten dollar gift card. We will reward you all in the order that receive the e-mails.

In the mean time, why not learn a little more about my agent, Jennie Goloboy of Red Sofa Literary?

You are a newer agent, when did you start and what made you want to become a literary agent? (How many clients would you consider your “max” and where are you on that list right now?)

People who’ve known me for a long time say I’m a natural matchmaker, and that is what drew me to being an agent– the idea that this writer and that editor should know each other, and I can help by introducing
them! Currently, I am growing my client list, but I do know I plan to keep the list small so each of my authors gets special attention.

What kind of projects do you usually look for/gravitate toward?
Right now my practice centers on YA and MG novels and science fiction and fantasy for adults. Beyond that, first of all, I have to love your protagonist and care what happens to him or her. I love funny books (Terry Pratchett, Christopher Moore, and Fay Weldon are current favorites). I love fantasy with a realistic feel– either because it’s set in the real world, or because the world and its characters are fully imagined and credible. Romance is always a plus, as long as the romance doesn’t solve all the protagonist’s problems (especially in YA). And as a historian, I appreciate historical settings!

I also love it when my authors already have an audience ready and eager to read their books when they are published– for example, by starting a popular blog and running exciting contests…

(Tee hee, Oh Jennie :D) 

When do you usually stop reading a query or sample pages?
I stop reading queries if I can tell that the book is not something I’d represent (like a thriller or a memoir). I skim queries if I think I’ve seen the idea before, in case the author has promising credentials or an unusual twist on the idea. Currently I’m seeing a lot of novels about girls who have prophetic dreams and girls who
either are or are dating the grim reaper.

If I like the query, I generally let it sit for a while, and if it still looks good at a second glance, I will request the first three chapters. (I don’t ask for a synopsis– I like to be surprised.) I always read all three chapters. If I like them, I will ask for the full manuscript, which I will also read in full.

In general, if I’ve asked for it, I’ll read it.

How do you network with editors and other industry professionals with your office being located in Minnesota?

I have the benefit of Dawn’s years of experience in the industry and great track record. Beyond that, I love conferences! I’ll be speaking at three this year, one at the Loft Literary Center in late April (, one at the DFW Writer’s Conference (, and one at the Florida Writers Association
( I also plan to be at Worldcon again this year, as well as a couple of history conferences.

You are a writer as well. How do you balance your time between writing your own material and helping your clients get published?

Coffee. I also try to keep a daily schedule: Monday is for sorting through the mail, Tuesday and Thursday are for client needs, Wednesday and Friday for my own writing. Of course, if there’s an urgent issue
from one of my clients, I get to it right away!

As a writer, what advice would you give to others still working to get published?
This shouldn’t be a lonely business! Once you’ve written that book, you’ll need beta readers. You’ll need people to show you the next steps, and you’ll need people to help you commiserate and celebrate.
Go out and find some writer buddies!

Do you have any recommendations for writers on how to build their platform?
It’s not enough to write a great book, you also have to know the kind of book you’re writing, so it can find its proper audience. At Red Sofa, we’re big fans of Christina Katz’s Get Known Before the Book Deal, which has some great exercises to help you define yourself as a writer, and to publicize your work using social media.

What is your favorite book/author right now? What is your favorite book/author of all time?
Wow, that’s a hard question! The best book I read recently– the most creative, immersive, moving and satisfying– was Lauren Beukes’s Zoo City. Probably the book I think about most frequently is actually a
history book: Richard Bushman’s The Refinement of America. But when I want to reread a book, it’s usually one of Terry Pratchett’s Ankh-Morpork books, of which Thud! is my very favorite.

Random Questions!

Me and Pam are scared-y cats. We’re scared of clowns, mermaids, centaurs, and people on stilts… What freaks you out the most?

Mayonnaise. And yet, oddly enough, I love chicken salad, and I’m willing to make some to get it.

If it’s your last day on earth, what would you eat (all we think about is food)?

I’d head down to the North End in Boston and get pizza and an arancine from Galleria Umberto, followed by Italian rum cake from Modern Pastry (all I think about is food, too!).

“The Voice” or “American Idol”?
I’ve run out of time for most TV, but I always watch Mad Men, to see how Don’s messed up his life this week.

What would you do for a klondike bar?
For a Klondike bar? Not much. For a Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake bar? I’m embarrassed to say…

Thanks so much, Jennie!

And again, thanks to all of you who entered the contest (and even those of you who were THINKING about entering). If you want to query Jennie, find out more about her here:

Jennie’s Facebook
Jennie’s Twitter
Jennie on

We’re Back…and in FULL EFFECT!

Social Networking Song of the Day: “LOL :)” by Trey Songz

You read that title right. We’re here and ready to stomp all over social media.  Not only are we back and ready to take the interwebz by storm, but we also are ready to hold another contest! I mean, we did cross 300 followers a while back.

We’re no contest virgins, but this time we wanted to offer a prize that’s a little different–we are going to give out, TWO, count them, TWO query critiques! Wanna know more??? Watch the following video:

Yep, you heard us right (that is if you could understand my words through all of my mumbling). My agent, Jennie Goloboy, and the owner of Red Sofa Literary Agency, Dawn Frederick, are BOTH willing to critique two query letters. Pretty awesome, right?

And if that’s not enough, we are going to throw one more prize in there–just for kicks. This isn’t mentioned in the video, but for those of you who are already agented, how would you like a TEN DOLLAR gift card to Barnes & Noble. We just keep making your life better, huh? All you have to do is fill out the form below and show us a lil’ love on our social media takeover scheme. Not hard. At all. Oh, and make sure you enter before Sunday March 18th, 8 PM EST!

‘Kay? Thanks, bye!

Someone’s WINNING…And What’s to Come

Reading Song of the Day: “All I Do Is Win” by DJ Kahled Ft. T-Pain

We’re on the third day of our two week winter break from the day jobs. WOO HOO!!! We’re planning to read, write, read some more, write a little more, and then well, read some more. What else are a couple writers gonna do while they have an extended break?

Notice that blogging was not included…yeah, this week we’re not gonna blog. BUT next week, we’re returning with some fun end of the year type stuff. We’re joining Katy Upperman and pals Jessica Love, Tracey Neithercott, Alison Miller for the CLASS OF 2011: YA SUPERLATIVES BLOGFEST!

If you’re interested in joining the Blogfest, here’s a little information from Ms. Upperman’s blog:

The Class of 2011: YA Superlatives Blogfest is a fun and interactive way to highlight and share your favorite YA novels, covers, characters, and story elements. The Class of 2011: YA Superlatives Blogfest will span four days, beginning Tuesday, December 27th and culminating Friday, December 30th.

The rules for participating are simple:

1. Add your name to the Google form below.
2. Select books/characters that apply to the superlative topics for each day of the blogfest. Feel free to give explanations for your choices. You can go into as much detail as you like!
3. Schedule your posts to go live on the days indicated.
4. Add a link to your post on Jessica’s, Tracey’s, Alison’s, or my blog.
5. Take a few moments to hop around and check out the superlatives of other participants each day.

If you want more info and are interested in signing up, go to either of the blogs mentioned above, or click on the link for the CLASS OF 2011: YA SUPERLATIVES BLOGFEST!

Okay, now to the order of business we need to take care of: The winner of our pre-order for Jaime Reed’s debut Living Violet. Without further delay, our winner is:


Congratulations!! Send an e-mail to with your mailing address and we’ll order your book ASAP!

Happy Holidays, all! See ya next week!!

Our Thanks, a Winner, and a Turkey!

**This was supposed to be posted this morning…yeah, Thanksgiving day Fail…sorry, peeps**

Celebrating Song of the Day: “Thank Me Now” by Drake

It’s Turkey Day AKA Thanksgiving & we hope that you all are enjoying yourselves 🙂 We just have some quick business to take care of, then we are off to begin our food comas!

Remember that contest we had in celebration of finishing the 2011 Debut Author Challenge? Well, we have us a winner! Congrats to:
You have a $15 Amazon e-gift card to be thankful for today. Send us an email to: from the address that you want your card sent to & we shall get it to you ASAP. The rest of our lovely followers- we are thankful for you. Please enjoy this turkey on our behalf:

Debut Author Challenge # 11: The Near Witch…And Yep, A Giveaway!!!!

Reading Song of the Day: “Witchy Woman” by The Eagles

And the countdown commences…we are now TWO books away from being finished with the Debut Author Challenge 2011. It’s been so much fun, too–I think we might have to check out 2012 🙂

This time, I’ve read Victoria Schwab’s The Near Witch. Here is what Goodreads wants to tell ya:

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. And there are no strangers in the town of Near.
These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.

But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.
The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.

Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.

If that’s not enough to make you wanna read it, then maybe this will help:

The Top Four Things You Need to Know About The Near Witch:

1. Lexi is strong but not too rough: She can hunt and track b/c her father taught her how, she knows if you want to get a tough boy off your back just kick him in the family jewels, and she will do anything to protect her family. But she also is soft enough to open her heart to a stranger. She embodies the perfect balance of a female protag.

2. The town of Near comes alive: Schwab is a BEAUTIFUL writer. There is not one character, one house, one branch that doesn’t pop out of the pages. When you’re reading this novel you’ll find yourself immersed in the moor, the wind, and the entire town of Near.

3. The characters are all distinct: There are no stereotypes in Near. Even witch sisters who might appear to be alike have their distinct ways of speaking and their own mannerisms. The children of Near have their own quirks, too. There is no way that you’ll get any of the townspeople confused–not even the three old men who serve on The Council.

4. The plots are twistier than a pretzel: As the Goodreads plot suggests, The Near Witch is part fairy tale. The story of witches and children goes back to Hansel and Gretel, but this book ain’t your normal fairy tale. You’ll find yourself going “wha…?” or “wait, but I thought this was happening…” Even when you think you know what’s coming–you don’t.

You wanna win this book, don’t cha? Well…keep reading and find out how!

If you like…

Books: Sweetly by Jackson Pearce, Ash by Malinda Lo, or The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare… then you’ll like The Near Witch.

Movies: The Brothers Grimm, Beastly, or Red Riding Hood …then you’ll like The Near Witch.

Okay, so you want to win a gently used copy of The Near Witch?? Well, all you have to do is leave a comment with your e-mail address, be a follower of this blog, and live in the U.S. (sorry but we’re writers/educators which equals broke!) by Tuesday September 27th, 2011 at midnight EST. We’ll announce the winner Thursday September 29th 🙂 Hope you all enter!

Oh…and we have a winner to announce, don’t we??? The winner of our last giveaway, Carrie Harris’ Bad Taste in Boys , is…
Georgia Summers!!!

YAY!!! Look out for an e-mail from us today 😀