Oh happy day! I'm literally dancing over here. It's really, really happening!!! In case you had BURN ME on your "To Read" list, you'll be happy to know that it is now available for pre-order on Amazon and ibookstore! Go reserve your copy today!
(Click the cover below to be taken to Amazon's pre-order page.)
Also, if you'll be in the Tucson metro area on March 16th, I'll be signing bookmarks at the Tucson Festival of Books in the central author pavilion from 9:30-11:30. Come out and see me!
OMG guys! I've had this cover for a while now, and haven't been able to share it until now! Swoon Romance makes some gorgeous covers, and they did not disappoint when it came to mine! I absolutely LOVE this cover, and I love the way it encompasses so much of the tension between Kat and Greyson. I can NOT wait to share this book with you! I love this cover so much, It's my background on every electronic device I own. SO in love!!! I'd say this cover is pretty "swoon"-worthy, wouldn't you? ;)
An Adult Contemporary Romance
Releasing April 29, 2014
Published by Swoon Romance
twin brother dies in a house fire, firefighter Katrina Hale is determined to
prove she’s stronger than the flames. But while her focus on her career leaves
little room in her life for romance and her current relationship fizzles, she
soon discovers fighting fires is nothing compared to the scorching desire she
feels in fellow firefighter Greyson Neal's arms. Firefighter Greyson Neal is
the type of guy girls dream about when they want their knight in shining armor
to wear bunker gear. But he’s not interested in fulfilling every girl’s
fantasies. Now he wants the one woman he can never have, and she seems
hell-bent on getting herself killed to prove that she’s worthy of her job. Kat
must choose between her career and her heart, and fight to keep them both when
an arsonist threatens to take it all away
As you may or may not know, I've agreed to be a mentor for Pitch Wars again this year. It's a contest where authors submit to us mentors to work with them one-on-one on a project that will then be pitched to a all-star lineup of agents! Last year, my mentee, Alison Bliss, signed with her agent, Andrea Somberg as a result of the contest. One of my runner ups signed with Louise Fury, and the other signed with Swoon Romance! So, I have a pretty good track record for picking winners ;)
A little more about me: I was an intern with Literary Agent Vickie Motter at Andrea Hurst and followed that with an internship with Danielle Poeisz, Editorial Director at Entangled publishing. I write romance for adults and young adults. I was agented, but parted ways with my agent and have since signed a contract for my steamy contemporary romance, BURN ME, with Swoon Romance. The title will be released in April 2014. Prior to that, I published a children's picture book, SARA'S RIBBON, which was published by MeeGenius in 2013. I'm currently working on a sequel for BURN ME titled CUFF ME. In addition to my writing, I regularly co-host Pitch Madness with Brenda Drake.
For my bio, I decided to leave being witty to the other mentors. Witty isn't my strong point. STEAMY, however, is. So, it'll come as no surprise that my wish list is super short. I want romance, the steamier the better. YA, NA, Adult, as long as the romance is sizzling, I'm all in!
So set my submission box on fire with your steamy submissions! Thanks so much for considering submitting to me. I can't wait to read all the spectacular entries! Please follow the submission directions on Brenda's blog.
SECRET LETTER: E
Here's the list of spectacular agents who will be participating in this year's agent round: 1. LouiseFury – Bent Agency
Title: THE UNDERTAKERS: SECRET OF THE CORPSE EATER
Publication date: March 25, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Ty Drago
Corpses are up something.
Senator Lindsay Micha had been kidnapped and replaced with a “dead” ringer, the
sister to Lilith Cavanaugh, the Queen of the Dead. Now Will Ritter must go undercover in our
nation’s capital to ferret out the truth and try to stop this ambitious deader.
But his mission becomes even more dangerous when he learns of a mysterious
ten-legged monster that prowls the halls of the Capitol Building — a lethal monster
with a taste for Corpse flesh.
such an alien “enemy of his enemy” truly become Will’s friend?
It's been a long week of reading through all the amazing pitches and our wonderful readershave narrowed the slush, and your game hosts have chosen sixty pitches, along with four pitches saved by our slush readers, for the game. If you're new to Pitch Madness you can check out the details here and our fantabulous agents here.
(Scroll down to view all 16 picks for my blog.)
Comments are set to moderation so the agent's won't see their competitors' bids. Please no comments other than those from the agents. After the game later on September 10, we'll release the moderation and let you all comment on the entries.
Please note:We will email submission details for all requests by the agents. After the contest, agents will make requests to us for the pitches they loved and didn't not win.
Congratulations to those who've made it into the game! For those who haven't made it, we are hosting a Twitter Pitch Party on September 12 from 8AM to 8PMEDST onthe hashtag #PitMad.
How do you twitter pitch? You can find all the details here.
A huge thank you to my team! You can check out the teams here.
Title: THE TRUTH ABOUT LEAVING Genre: YA Contemporary Word Count: 88,000
Pitch: Lucy should be dreaming about college, not the Israeli boy with sad eyes. Because come graduation, he's headed home for three years in the army. Unless falling in love changes those plans. But it can't. Excerpt:
The first time I met Dov, I was twirling in the foyer of Wilmette Academy. Wearing Maddie's blue wig and my matching cowboy boots, my head flung back, eyes closed, arms outstretched. I felt wild and happy and free.
At least I did until my boots slipped on the polished black and white tiles. And then there was nothing wild or happy or free about it. There was a mess of arms and legs moving in every direction and that awful feeling of being suspended in midair when you know it won't last.
Here's the irony about my spectacular fall. As someone who'd started taking ballet classes about ten minutes after she learned to walk, I know how to spin without losing my balance. It's an easy trick, one that's taught to eight-year olds in dusty ballet studios all around the world. You pick a spot in front of you and focus on it as your body rotates, letting it leave your sight for only the fraction of a second that it takes to whip your head back around and find it again. Your focus on that spot is what allows you to keep spinning in perfect little pirouettes, seemingly forever.
You never look elsewhere, not even for a second.
You never, ever, close your eyes.
I did both.
For that moment as I twirled, I wasn't thinking of proper form or following rules about what you were decidedly not allowed to be doing in the Grand Foyer at Wilmette Academy.
PITCH: 17-year-old Jo is working the 7-Eleven graveyard shift the summer before senior year. Truckers, alcoholics and insomniacs are her regular customers. So what’s with Bow Tie Guy and why does he keep asking her out?
“Jo, baby! Did you miss me?”
I roll my eyes as Butch leans against the counter. “Horribly. I don’t know how I survived without you.”
Butch beams. “I missed you, too.”
I’m sure he did.
I glance at the pile he’s set down on the counter. “That all for today?”
“Mr. Zed is getting me two six-packs from the back,” he says, reaching into his pocket to pull out his tattered wallet. “Guinness.”
“Haven’t we already talked about this whole no drinking and driving crap?” I scan the items one by one, and wait for Mr. Zed, the manager, to come back with the beer. “If your boss knew you did this, you’d be fired.”
He shrugs, his beard a tangled mess. “No harm, no foul.”
I glare at him. “Butch, you dummy, if you drink and drive your semi afterward, I will find out and I will hunt you down.”
“Whatever you say, dear.” He smirks as I bag his purchases. “Don’t you find this all a little ironic?”
Oh, I do. In so many ways, although probably not the ones he thought. “What should I be finding ironic?”
He chuckles to himself as he drums on the counter, waiting. “That you’re going to be ringing up my beer, and you’re not allowed to drink it yet.”
“And even if I could, I wouldn’t.” I kick off my flip flops and sit back down. “God, Butch, your taste in beer sucks.”
Title: THE THIRTEENTH SUBJECT Genre: YA Science Fiction Word Count: 81,000 words Pitch: Engineered by the Chimera Corporation, Evy, a telepathic soldier, defends humanity from a supernatural race. But when she discovers Chimera’s true identity and ultimate goal, Evy must destroy the lab before it redesigns society. Excerpt: Being a good guest is a lot easier when the host isn’t around. There’s no small talk or awkward pauses and no one feels obligated to observe social niceties. I am an excellent houseguest. I position each pot, remote, and throw pillow exactly where I found it. It’s not so hard; I have a pretty good memory where these things are concerned. Every surface and door handle gets a good wipe down. I even go grocery shopping, replacing what I used. It’s more than leaving the space how I found it. It’s about erasing all evidence of my stay. The trick is not being seen or heard by the neighbors—or the having the owner walk in as you duck through a window. Like Charlie did. I spit a wad of toothpaste into the sink and open the faucet wide to blast away the suds. The glow of the night-light casts shadows over the room. Cracks in the tile stand out like potholes. Then I hear them. Not much can escape my hyperactive senses. Between them and my telepathy something always gives them away. This time it’s two pairs of footsteps, whispers, and wheels on a tile floor. Suitcase? I cut the water off and freeze. “Please, keep walking. Keep walking,” I chant, as if the words have any real power to keep the couple from entering my temporary living quarters. Their home. Deep in the apartment I wait, motionless, straining to follow the sounds emanating from the hall.
Pitch: Fleeing with bloody hands and a stolen BMW, Leah must escape charges for a murder committed by shadow creatures only she can see. At least she thought she was the only one.
The dead don’t blink. My father’s blank stare seemed to follow me around the room. My mother beside him had a narrow-eyed glare that made me flinch.
I couldn’t bear to look at my sister.
The wail of a siren in the distance settled reality around me like a heavy shroud. I’d called 911 when I saw the front door ajar. I hadn’t expected to find this inside. Now I had to get out before anyone saw me.
Blood, cool and sticky, seeped through the knees of my jeans. Hitching back a sob, I pressed my lips to the forehead of each of my family members. A silent goodbye that should have been so much more.
With stumbling steps, I hurried through my darkened house. They’d made sure not a single bulb worked, which pissed me off enough to worm through my grief. Out the back door, I hurried out the gate to the side yard as the police siren cut off out front.
I couldn’t be there when they arrived. I couldn’t explain to the police what happened. They wouldn’t believe me when I told them strange, horrible, shadowy creatures created the carnage. That the planted clues didn’t mean I’d killed my family. No one ever believed me when I mentioned them.
Hurrying down the darkened street, my wet jeans slapping against my skin, I succumbed to my tears. The overwhelming grief ate at me from within, taking too-large bites from my soul.
I didn’t care where I ended up, so long as it was far away from here.
PITCH: Caught standing over a dead body, again, PI Kim Murphy is determined to clear her slightly tarnished name while avoiding a hot cop determined to put her in handcuffs – and not the pink, fuzzy kind.
Cops hate it when you vomit all over their crime scene – a mistake I had no desire to repeat. Then again, the fact that I’d just trampled all over this scene was probably a whole new mistake I should have avoided. I stared at the corpse and fought the urge to hurl. If only I hadn’t answered the door, I’d be eating dinner instead of standing in my neighbor’s apartment looking at a dead guy.
Said dead guy was just sitting there in the chair. You would think he was asleep – if not for all the blood and guts spilled onto his lap. I tore my eyes from him and asked the question I most wanted the answer to.
“What the heck did you hit him with?”
Lindsay dropped the strand of blonde hair she’d been twirling and glanced down at the floor. “My shoe.”
“I’ve already told you. Twice. I hit him with my shoe.”
“Damn it, Lindsay, you can’t kill someone with a shoe!”
“Hello, they’re Via Spiga.”
“Ugh.” I glared. There was no way in hell she had done this kind of damage with a shoe. If she had, women would soon be saying goodbye to their much-beloved accessory. Men-even NRA members- would insist on an instant ban of the deadly yet sexy weapon.
I set my hands on my hips. “Any idea how he got this giant hole in his stomach?”
Title: THE DRUMMING SONG Genre: YA Speculative Fiction Word Count: 87,000
Pitch: When an intoxicating drumbeat begins calling to 17-year-old Drea Rune every night, she must unravel the bloody myth surrounding its origin before she succumbs to the drumming addiction taking over her mind. Excerpt:
I remembered the first time I tasted lemon meringue with tart-tongued brilliance. And I could recall the exact way my grandfather’s lower lip curled when he smiled, as if he had died only yesterday. Both memories were precious and unforgettable.
Neither of them compared to the first time I heard the drumbeat.
Nothing ever would.
A street musician lounged at the edge of the plaza, singing wistfully about a girl, or a friend, or maybe a car, and I wished he would shut up.
He drew a crowd within minutes, leaving me trapped outside the throng on Chef, my new-used bike. I’d known it was stupid to venture into Venari’s plaza at eight at night, but I hated the thought of waking up tomorrow morning without fresh fruit and vegetables.
If I didn’t cook for my brother Guster, he’d revert back to a toaster-waffle-and-peanut-butter-sandwich diet before I could grab hold of a dough whisk. A move from western to eastern Oregon couldn’t make me abandon my standards.
I used Chef’s front tire to nudge between people.
“Excuse me. Sorry,” I said. Almost everyone met my apologies with polite smiles, except one girl with electric yellow braces who glared at me as if it was a personal offense that I didn’t give a damn about the guy’s whining.
But no song in the world had ever given me goose bumps, or even made me smile.
The smell of Vietnamese cinnamon, however, made me grin like a fool.
When Jayne goes looking for the aliens who abducted her dad, they find her first.They demand she decode herdad's journal but unlocking its secretscould lead to him or destroy the galaxy.
It was the perfect night to find an alien.
Jayne angled the telescope toward the sky’s southern rim. The stars were unusually bright for early evening, and there were no lingering clouds. She was seconds away from spotting an unknown unnatural singularity, she just knew it. Jayne smiled as she pictured her dad swatting madly at his ears after hearing someone say unidentified flying object. He’d said the term got a bad rap. Just like he did.
She rubbed her bare arms to erase the chill that accompanied the darkening sky. Of course, she forgot her sweater. But she only had one quadrant left. She selected the highest aperture opening, and peered through the eyepiece.
A glowing red sphere pushed against the stars. Mars. She held up the camera to the lens and took a photo, then clicked on the mag-lite and shined it on an open binder on the ground. The photo of Quadrant 12 showed the same astral pattern. No change. She sighed and clicked off the light. So much for perfect.
Two beams of light shot through the forest clearing and moved across the tree trunks like searchlights. Jayne held her breath, keeping perfectly still. The sound of crunching gravel was followed by the low hum of an engine. She turned to see headlights winding up the dirt road.
Instead of driving past, the car veered in her direction. Jayne tucked her head into her elbow to escape the glare of the headlights as the car bounced over thick grass and lumpy ground, stopping just paces away.
Pitch: While battling the virus that's changing him into a zombie, seventeen-year-old Ryan Moon must defy the zealous father of his prom date, or risk starting the apocalypse.
Excerpt: It's all going to end one day. People will stop screaming when they see my face, no one will be afraid to touch me, and the world will stop feeling so cold. Until then, I'd like to live a normal life, or at least one that everyone I've ever cared about wasn't already dead. But for someone like me, someone so close to the end, normal will never happen. It bites. How's a guy supposed to focus in class with all that on his mind?
So I wander the halls, trying not to infect anyone on the way to Biology. At least no one fainted in front of me yet today. That makes slipping into my seat remarkably simple.
"Ryan, you're dripping blood on the desk." Mr. Heap glares at me from the front of the room and yanks the yellow bio-hazard kit from the wall. "Go see the nurse."
Not so simple after all. "Yeah," I mutter, wiping my neck to verify the claim. My fingers come back bloody. "I see it." I grab my bag and announce my annoyance with a loud sigh before ducking toward the door as the tardy bell rings.
I'd say that Hillside is a decent school, but it's the only high school I've known; I've got nothing to compare it with. It took lawsuits and a dozen acts of Congress, but they accept me here now—sort of. The drawback is that public education for someone like me comes with a price. Today's incident means more detention.
Pitch:Dylan's grandfather? Lost at sea. His dad? Same story. When the unforgiving sea also claims Dylan, a fantastic family legacy is revealed in Saldanha, an undersea kingdom filled with magic, mystery, love… and absolute evil.
Could anything in the world be worse than the life of Dylan Byrnes? He let this question roll back and forth in his mind. No. No way. Nothing in the entire world could be worse than his life.
He glanced out the window with lonely eyes. There were a few marshmallow clouds scattered about but this was a sky that would normally call him outside to meet with friends. On this day, however, all he felt like doing was staying inside, watching TV, and trying not to cry. Of course, if he had his way, he would be on Tommy’s boat right now. He had been invited on the fishing trip, after all, just as Ryan and Billy were invited. But when the boat left the dock that morning only one fisherman was missing… Dylan. If he had been sick or had something important to do, maybe this would make sense and perhaps he wouldn’t feel so angry. But neither issue was a problem that day. He felt completely healthy and there was absolutely nothing on his schedule. Everyone knew the truth. The only thing that kept him from getting on that boat was the same thing that always kept him off a boat… his paranoid, unreasonable mother.
As he struggled to hold back his tears, his mother quietly walked into the room and sat beside him. Speak of the devil, Dylan bitterly thought to himself. She began brushing his sandy blonde hair to the side before he jerked away from her touch.
Title: FLESH EATING ZOMBIES AND EVIL EX-GIRLFRIENDS
Genre: YA horror
word count: 57,000
Pitch: When all hell breaks loose, Erwin’s determined to hold it together. But as zombies start to break into the school, he realizes he can’t save everyone. He must decide who’s worth risking his life for.
What a piece of crap day. Disaster was carved in stone on a giant rock in the pit of my stomach. I'd thought seeing Natalie making out with her new, ass-wipe boyfriend would be the worst of it. Man was I wrong.
I counted my reps, trying to block out the sound of the cheerleader across the hall. Basketball practice didn't start for another forty-five minutes. Then I'd have to face him. I fantasized about throwing a stiff elbow to his face when Coach wasn't looking.
I was picturing the blood dripping down his mouth and chin, and I almost dropped the weight on my foot when I heard the screaming.
Jumping up, I sprinted across the gym, slamming open the doors. Rob stood in the doorway with his little sister. His whole body shook, and the seven-year-old girl was white as a ghost, pressed against his leg.
"What's wrong? What happened? Are you hurt?" people asked, running up to them.
"I ran home to grab my practice clothes and our neighbor was eating Amy's babysitter!" Rob said, his face green.
Some jackass from the weight room laughed. "Holy shit. Was it Eva? 'Cause I'm kinda' jealous." A few people laughed nervously.
"He ripped her open! There was blood everywhere. . . and . . .and he was eating her," Rob shouted.
Title: LUCY IN THE SKY Genre: YA Contemporary Word Count: 55,000
Pitch: 16-year-old competitive swimmer Lucy Taylor is haunted by the drowning of her older brother, Cam, and struggles to come to terms with his death and her newfound fear of the water.
My brother drowned eight weeks ago. Eight weeks. Eight weeks since I've been in the water. I've heard it's hell getting back in. Your body drags like lead and the water turns to mud.
The stench of chlorine mixed with Dencorub envelopes me as I walk onto the pool deck. My squad is squished in two lanes of the twenty-five metre pool.
"You alright, Lucy?" Phil, my coach, comes over to me.
"Yeah," I say, "fine." I pull my goggles over my cap.
"If you're not up for it, I won't be making excuses for you."
That's not surprising. Phil didn't want me to start back; he told Dad I should work my way up through B or C squad. I've missed half the season, too many club nights, I won't make up the points, it's hopeless. But Dad wouldn't have that.
I watch Megan dive off the blocks and settle into an effortless stroke. Last year I was better than her, she knew it too. Not now, though.
"I'm fine," I say again and walk over to the blocks. I'm fine.
I crouch down to splash water on myself. A tremble runs through my left arm. I stretch out my fingers to still it.
It's just water.
My vision tunnels and my hand curls itself into a fist. I try to concentrate on my breathing but my heart is racing. My cap tightens around my skull and my costume cuts into my skin. The nightmares that invade my mind every time I close my eyes come rushing to the surface.