Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's Giveaway Hop


Disgruntled Bear is part of another wonderful giveaway hop. The next stop is the Doorkeeper (http://reneeannsmith.com/). I'm giving away a prize pack (open internationally) that includes:

A copy of UnCONventional, the new anthology from Spencer Hill Press...


... a Spencer Hill Press tote bag, and a bunch of SWAG, including bookmarks, guitar picks, stickers, a can jersey, and whatever I've got hanging around.

To enter, become a follower here at Disgruntled Bear and post a comment below. Write anything (clean) you want. I'll use random.org to pick the winner and announce it on January 4th.

About UnCONventional:

This is a great collection of stories in which the convention is just the cover from something paranormal.

"It's about to get weird... okay, weirder in here."

Alien ascensions in hotel ballrooms.
Mermaids on cruise ships.
Werewolves in dog shows.
Steampunk fairy time travelers.
A teenage superhero hitching a ride with a supervillain.
Comic books that absorb their readers.
Magical filk... and much more.

With stories by: LJ Berger, Vikki Ciaffone, Daniel Cohen, Gordon Dupuis, Anthony Francis, Justine Graykin, Randy O. Green, Melina Gunnett, Kate Kaynak, Danielle M. LeFevre, Kimberley Long-Ewing, Lauren Marrero, Will Morton, LS Murphy, Ira Nayman, KT Pinto, Jennifer Allis Provost, Patricia Puckett, Keshia Swaim, Sherry Thompson, Pamela van Hylckama Vlieg, and Trisha Wooldridge

Available through:

AmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository (free international shipping):

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

ANGELINA'S SECRET Book Trailer

New Spencer Hill Press book trailer!

Check it out:


What do you think?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Best I've Read 2011

Megan over at Amethyst Daydreams has an interview with yours truly, as well as a Ganzfield book giveaway going on right now. Check it out here! http://amethystdaydreams.blogspot.com/2011/12/bir2011-interview-with-kate-kaynak.html

I'm so honored to have been picked for this; thanks again, Megan!

Monday, December 12, 2011

COVENANT Book Stuff

We have a few bits of Half-Blood related stuff here today at the Bear, and the first is...

A COVER REVEAL!

Here's the cover of the third book in the Covenant series, Deity. It's scheduled to come out November 6th, 2012.


We're pretty psyched about it.

Please, please, PLEASE vote for Alex in the YA Sisterhood tourney today! http://ya-sisterhood.blogspot.com/2011/12/match-11-nora-seed-10-vs-alex-seed-23.html

And finally, Half-Blood is up for a cover art award over at All Things Urban Fantasy (Best Object Cover, about halfway down). http://allthingsurbanfantasy.blogspot.com/2011/12/voting-is-now-open-3rd-annual.html. We'd love your vote there, too.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

UNCON is here!

The first copies of UnCONventional, our new anthology, are now in my office and in our distributor's warehouse.


Yes, I *did* make a fort out of the boxes.

Anyhoo, we're all kinds of excited about this book. Check it out:


It's about to get weird... okay, weirder in here. 

Alien ascensions in hotel ballrooms.

Mermaids on cruise ships.

Werewolves in dog shows.

Steampunk fairy time travelers.

A teenage superhero hitching a ride with a supervillain.

Comic books that absorb their readers. 

Magical filk... and much more.

With stories by: LJ Berger, Vikki Ciaffone, Daniel Cohen, Gordon Dupuis, Anthony G. Francis, Jr., Justine Graykin, Randy O. Green, Melina Gunnett, Kate Kaynak, Danielle M. LeFevre,  Kimberley Long-Ewing, Lauren Marrero, Will Morton, LS Murphy, Ira Nayman, KT Pinto, Jennifer Allis Provost, Patricia Puckett, Keshia Swaim, Sherry Thompson, Pamela van Hylckama Vlieg, and Trisha Wooldridge 

Pre-order through: 

Amazon: 
http://www.amazon.com/UnCONventional-Kate-Kaynak/dp/1937053008/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1315697667&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble: 
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/unconventional-kate-kaynak/1030781900?ean=9781937053000&itm=1&usri=unconventional%2bkaynak

Book Depository (free international shipping): 
http://www.bookdepository.com/Unconventional-Kate-Kaynak/9781937053000


And I had to share a picture of this awesome lightsaber candlestick:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

And the winner is...

The giveaway winner is...

A.J.!

Congrats, A.J.! I'll send you an email to get your mailing address.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Book Launch!

FACT: Jennifer Armentrout is an amazing writer, and we should encourage her by buying her books.

FACT: Obsidian is wicked good.

FACT: You should get a copy of this book today.


Starting over sucks. When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, outhouses, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring. Until I spotted my hot neighbor with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up. 

And then he opened his mouth. 

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens. The hot alien living next door marked me. 

You heard me. Alien. 

Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and the mark he left on me has me lit up like Las Vegas strip to the bad guys. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. If I don't kill him first, that is. And then things got really bad…


BOOK DEPOSITORY: http://www.bookdepository.com/Obsidian-Jennifer-Armentrout/9781937044237


AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Obsidian-Lux-Novel-Book-One/dp/1937044238/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_3


BARNES & NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/obsidian-jennifer-l-armentrout/1105621066?ean=9781937044237

Friday, December 2, 2011

Book Lover's Holiday Giveaway Hop


Disgruntled Bear is part of this ginormous (more than 250 participating) giveaway hop. The next stop is at the blog of Michelle Madow, whose book, Remembrance, looks all kinds of awesome!*
*And I hope she sends me a signed copy for saying so. 
But first...

I'm giving away a prize pack (open internationally) that includes:

An early copy (signed) of the new edition of Minder... 


... a Spencer Hill Press tote bag (ooh, stylish!), and a bunch of SWAG, including bookmarks, guitar picks, stickers--and maybe a candy cane or something, in honor of the holidays.

To enter, become a follower here at Disgruntled Bear and post a comment below. Write anything (clean) you want--"Happy Holidays," "I hope I win," "Kneel before Zod!"--whatever. I'll use random.org to pick the winner and announce it on December 7th.

Easy, right? 

If you're a first-timer here and are wondering about this Minder book, it's the first book of the Ganzfield series, and #5, Operative, will be released next March: 

Sixteen-year-old Maddie Dunn is special, but she needs to figure out how to use her new abilities before somebody else gets hurt. Ganzfield is a secret training facility full of people like her, but it's not exactly a nurturing place.

Every social interaction carries the threat of mind-control. A stray thought can burn a building to the ground. And people's nightmares don't always stay in their own heads. 

But it's still better than New Jersey.  Especially once she meets the man of her dreams…


Best YA Series of the Year 
"Clever and creative...this book sucked me in and would not let me go--not that I would have wanted it to." – Escape Between The Pages
http://escapebetweenthepages.blogspot.com/2010/07/review-minder-by-kate-kaynaks.html

A Reading Teen "What to Read This Summer" Pick
"Absolutely flawless!" – Reading Teen
http://www.readingteen.net/2010/06/arc-giveaway-of-minder-by-kate-kaynak.html 

A Reader's Choice Awards Top 5 pick for "BEST YA SERIES OF 2010," "BEST YA BOOK" (Minder), "BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE" (Adversary), "BEST SECONDARY CHARACTER" (Trevor), and "BEST COUPLE" (Maddie and Trevor) – Mindful Musings
http://themindfulmusingsbookblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/winner-best-ya-and-adult-series-of-2010.html

AMAROK Cover reveal!



Amarok
Life has been hell for seventeen-year-old Emma since she moved from sunny California to a remote Alaskan town. Rejected by her father and living with the guilt of causing her mother's death, she makes a desperate dash for freedom from her abusive stepfather. But when her car skids off the icy road, her escape only leads to further captivity in a world beyond her imagining. 

Dragged across the tundra by a crazed mountain man and his enormous black wolf, she finds that her gentle touch and kind heart earn her the wolf's friendship, and she names him Amarok, not knowing he was once a young man. When a vicious madman--trapped in bear form by an ancient Shaman--attacks the travelers and injures Amarok, Emma must find the strength to confront her fears and free the wolf she's come to love. But there's a catch--she must face down the evil shaman, a powerful Siberian mammoth hunter from the ice age, and he has no intention of giving up his power to her.

Title: Amarok
Author: Angela J. Townsend
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press (www.SpencerHillPress.com)
ISBN: 978-1-937053-22-2
Release Date: November 20, 2012
List Price: $12.95
Formats: Trade Paperback, e-book
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy and Magic, Thriller

****************************************

We LOVE this book over at Spencer Hill. I read the MS in one sitting and ADORED it--it's edgy, scary, and beautiful. I hope you'll add it to your TBR ASAP!  



Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Brilliant


Contrex - Ma Contrexpérience - 97s from Marcel on Vimeo.

Thanks to my mom (I'm just as surprised as you are) for the link.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Giveaways are good

Hi folks!

Welcome back from the holiday weekend, all you US-based folks. And to the other 95% of the world, welcome back from the weekend.

This blog will be part of a huge giveaway hop that starts later this week.


Make sure to check back and take part; with more than 250 giveaways, your odds of winning a book or ten are pretty good.

And to give you something to make your jaw drop, there's this:



Yeah, that's a guy. A jet-pack guy. A real, honest-to-God, the-Jetsons-are-becoming-reality jet-pack guy.

Thanks to Pete for the link.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Opening to Submissions Next Week

Hi folks,

Polish up those queries; we open to submissions next week! Guidelines can be found at: http://www.site.spencerhillpress.com/Submissions.html. In the meantime, feel the excitement, the drama, and the sheer FUN that is indie publishing!


 Happy Weekend!

Friday, November 18, 2011

What Not to Share

Great post for writers: http://www.rachellegardner.com/2011/11/what-not-to-blog-about/

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Most Random Part of My Job

I love designing book covers and doing the trailers and the like, but it does mean I end up looking at a lot of random images, including:

I have no actual use for this photo, mind you--but it's just SO CUTE! Now I want a pet owl. That would bother my husband less than bringing home some of the other stuff I've come across.


* sigh *

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Blogging and getting things done

If you're a regular reader here at Disgruntled Bear, you'll notice that posting has been a tad sporadic of late. I've had a combo of work and family health issues that have made my productive time their bitch. Anyhoo, I'll still post at least 2-3 times each week, hopefully in the general vicinity of MWF.

Thanks in advance for being cool about it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Beth Revis is Right

Here's a great post about YA authors.
http://bethrevis.blogspot.com/2011/11/its-not-competition.html
It's very true, and it hits at the heart of Spencer Hill's mission of building up authors.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cover reveal!

Like ghost stories? We have a freebie that's about to come out from Spencer Hill Press -- Angelina's Friend, a short story that shows the conflict from Angelina's childhood that comes out in her high school years in Angelina's Secret.


Come check it out at www.SpencerHillPress.com and download the free PDF or ePub version.

Monday, November 7, 2011

And the Winner is...

SPRING TIDE! 

Congratulations, Sheritha! For your partial critique, please send me the first thirty pages of your MS as a Word DOC or DOCX file at kate (at) katekaynak (dot) com.

Also, since MESSENGER'S HANDBOOK got more than a third of the votes, I'd like to offer Pamela a critique of her first ten pages, as well (please send your file as per the intructions above).

We had over 400 votes in this contest--thanks to everyone who took part! This was an AMAZING collection of queries, and I hope to see several of them in the submissions we receive at Spencer Hill next month.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Back on the Grid

Gah! Forty-eight hours without internet access--it was like being punished for a crime I didn't commit.


I'm back now, and I'm thrilled that hundreds of people have already voted in the Great Query Contest! You have until the 6th to do so.

Monday, October 31, 2011

THE GREAT QUERY CONTEST: ROUND 2


Welcome to part two, where, like on American Idol, you get to vote. Please select your favorite by midnight (EST) Sunday, November 6th. I'll announce the winner on Monday the 7th. And on a side note, this was an especially wonderful group of queries this year! I suspect that many of them will be picked up and published. So, without further ado, here are this year's contenders (in the order they were received and critiqued): 

====================================================

#1: NOCTURNE

Betrayed by his family and by love, seventeen-year-old Gabriel Durante has no one to turn to but the demon he serves. Now a high school dropout, Gabriel haunts the streets of San Francisco and collects souls from the dead so his demon, Moira, can feed on their energy.

After Moira causes a disastrous fire that kills a man, Ana, the victim's 16-year-old sister, seeks out Gabriel. Gabriel tries to scare her away, only to find himself wanting to devour her soul--a sign that he's becoming a demon himself.

Gabriel finds out that the only way to become human again is to kill Moira. But he's nearly out of time and he can't do it alone. He must team up with Ana and the Angel of Death to kill the demon--or die trying.

NOCTURNE is a YA Urban Fantasy complete at 95,000 words.

====================================================

#2: OUT OF THE WATER

Eighteen-year-old Rosa becomes separated from her family as they flee their Spanish homeland – and the Inquisition. Now her life is in the hands of a stranger, Baha, an artist from the Ottoman Empire. He is her one hope of reaching Constantinople and reuniting with her family. As they travel together, Rosa's drive to find her loved ones is matched by a deepening desire for the man at her side. 

Despite her family's refusal to accept her marriage to a man of a different faith, when janissaries arrest her father and brother, Rosa and Baha risk everything to rescue them. Together they will prove that their love can withstand their differences... if the Grand Vizier doesn't throw them both into the dungeons first.

OUT OF THE WATER is complete at 120,000 words.

====================================================

#3: SPRING TIDE

All sixteen year old Sarah Parker has to do is attend a party Friday night, pretend she's having fun, and hope to catch a glimpse of her long time crush, Marcus David. Instead she saves the party's host from near death, battles an alien called an "Outsider," and wakes up in the hospital.

So much for kicking butt.

Even though the entire school thinks she's a freak, hunkalicious Marcus still hangs out with Sarah. Sarah hopes her crush will turn into something more... but soon discovers Marcus has a few secrets of his own--like the reason he's always around to protect her when the Outsiders return.

When Marcus is accused of murdering a fellow student, Sarah must fight to clear his name while unravelling the mystery of her own destiny.

Spring Tide is complete at 55,000 words.

====================================================

#4: THREADS

 “Her reality cracked down the middle like a badly made clay pot, and all her assumptions of what was real and normal leaked out the bottom.”

When nineteen-year-old Alice Cunningham learns she’s inherited her eccentric great Aunt’s vacuum cleaner shop, she isn’t particularly impressed. But when she visits the shop it changes (into…?). Her aunt’s old employee has some wild stories to tell about the shop, its customers, and even Alice herself…

Alice sheds her shy reserve as she enters her new life. Learning magic is fun, and the fact that the shop can move anywhere in the world is pretty awesome… until she meets Alexie Ambrose, Greek titan-turned-pop star. Ambrose's interest in Alice turns into a dangerous obsession. He wants her for more then her sparkling personality and good looks, and he’s not letting her go until he gets what he wants…

Threads is Ella Enchanted meets Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. Complete at 100,000 words, it tells the story of a young woman who goes from wallflower to powerful female.

====================================================

#5: SACRIFICE

In one horrific night, Ava Shore loses everything. After discovering the truth about her father's death and witnessing the murder of her mother, she sees the King's Advisor for who he really is -- a coldblooded killer on a mission to uncover the whereabouts of a powerful blue stone.

Ava uncovers a plot to assassinate the King but when her attempt to foil it fails, she has no choice but to flee across The River to The Burbs, a part of the country reserved for the worst criminals. There she joins the most notorious gang in return for their protection.

Surrounded by murder and deceit Ava resists becoming the person everyone thinks she is, "The Crownkiller." The wisdom and love from a gang member assists her in discovering herself and accepting her situation. But when a friend's life is threatened in an attempt to ensure her capture, Ava sacrifices everything to save him.
Sacrifice is a 96,000 word, YA dystopian novel.

====================================================

#6: ALL SHE NEEDS IS LOVE

Everything Emma Francis owns fits in a garbage bag. Don't you dare pity her. She's survived the foster care system and is finally eighteen, free to make her own decisions. It's about time.

Unfortunately, due to the foster-care-shuffle, Emma hasn't stayed in one place long enough to put anything other than decent grades on her college applications. Community service is a must. A friend suggests she volunteer at her church and it is there she meets Gigi, a blonde haired, blue-eyed, opinionated little girl, who is more than willing to be Emma's charity case.

As Gigi wiggles her way under Emma's hard shell, someone else pokes through the cracks. Emma is far from a damsel in distress, but when she's attacked behind the diner her knight in shining t-shirt comes to her rescue. She never expects it to be South High's quarterback, known to her simply as Burger and Fries, an order he delivers with a charming smile every week. But there's more to Sam than a strong appetite and a great throwing arm. He morphs from friend to boyfriend so slowly Emma doesn't even realize her guard is faulty.

Emma's life plan is in full swing until Gigi's sorry excuse for a father kills himself in a drunk driving accident. Gigi is headed for hell, the foster system. Emma must decide if she's willing to change everything she has planned to save Gigi from the life she was forced to endure.

ALL SHE NEEDS IS LOVE is Contemporary YA complete at 67,000 words.

====================================================

#7: THE MESSENGER'S HANDBOOK

After sixteen-year-old Madeline is pushed onto the subway tracks, she wakes in 1675, during King Philip's War--the sole survivor of a Native massacre of a settlement in colonial Massachusetts. Rescued and taken back to the colonists' garrison, as a modern girl she knows more about texting than weaving textiles. Her weird behavior starts rumors of witchcraft, and the crime she does commit--falling in love with a Native boy--could also get her killed. The only way she can get home and save both of their lives is train with the Medicine Woman and fulfill her destiny as a Messenger, a time traveler. But the Hunters, dark-souled predators as well as time travelers, are closing in... and they'll kill her if she doesn't join them.

The Messenger's Handbook is a YA romantic time travel thriller complete at 62,000 words.

====================================================

#8: TRIANGLE

The travel brochure promised an "escape from reality." Her sister promised it would be the best family vacation ever. But when seventeen-year-old Autumn Taylor's ship glides into the Bermuda Triangle, her days become a blur of Twilight Zone episodes—and she's the star of the show.

She speaks to her dead father, fights with a stepbrother she doesn't have, and finds herself in a heated love triangle with a coworker and his half-brother. Waking up with cancer pushes her to the edge of a mental breakdown, sending her to the ship's doctor for help. Dr. Hardy warns her that any of these alternate lives could become permanent—which is what happened to her during her own trip through the Triangle. Autumn struggles to figure out what’s going on, while everyone on the ship, including her sister, accepts each day as if it were the norm. When Autumn returns to the clinic for more answers, she finds the doctor was never on the ship's registry.

Now, with no one to help her, Autumn has a few things to figure out: a way out of the Triangle, why she's the only one who's been affected by the strange occurrences, and why this is happening to her. If she can’t get her real life back on track, she may end up spending the next sixty years trapped in a life she was never meant to live.

TRIANGLES is a 59,000 word young adult urban fantasy.

====================================================

#9: MIRRORMASTERS

Leah Ellis has a mission to save her homeworld--if the ones who unleashed the impending apocalypse don’t eliminate her first.

Leah’s gift as a MirrorMaster lets her travel to other places, even worlds light years away. That’s how she accidentally arrived on Earth thirteen years ago. Now fifteen, she discovers her otherworldly origins--and her ability--through a prophecy foretelling the return of a lost MirrorMaster. The youngest in her adoptive family, she’s always had others protecting her. Now, for the sake of billions of lives, she must protect an entire planet.

Knowing only she can wield the crystals needed to activate a device that will stop the apocalypse, Leah leaves behind everyone and everything she loves on Earth. On Jantyr she discovers a dying yet still beautiful world and a people who share all they have with each other. Through a desert of singing sands, to a bioluminescent jungle populated by thunderbeasts with razor-sharp teeth, to moving caverns that float above a golden sea, she races to find the crystals before it's too late. If she's going to succeed in her mission, she must keep the ones responsible for the devastation from killing her first. But activating the device may require her to sacrifice not only her life, but her soul.

====================================================

#10: THE FORCES OF HEAVEN AND HELL ALIKE

The demon Liam has been hiding a romantic relationship with the angel Mikael for centuries. When a battle for Heaven places them on opposing sides, Liam must decide if a victory for Hell is more important than losing the one being who taught him good and evil aren't easily defined.

Liam enjoys being a demon. He gets to travel the Midwest on his motorcycle, chartering contracts for souls and feeding his addiction to coffee; a leftover need thanks to the body he now inhabits. He's got a right-hand man who follows his orders without question and who is more than happy to do most of the work on their assignments. This allows Liam to have more time for himself, and more importantly more time to spend with Mikael. Not even the minor annoyance of having to deal with archangel Gabriel's sworn vengeance can interrupt his life for too long.

Thus far, Gabriel's attacks have been weak and no real threat; more a source of mocking by Liam towards Heaven's less-than-competent solider. But now Heaven's in disarray, after God's gone AWOL, and Gabriel sees the opportunity to take the throne for himself. The death of Liam would surely prove his worth as a leader, so he takes a new approach to an old problem. The next soldier to go up against Liam will be trained by the best teacher in heaven—Mikael. Now the angel must decide how far he can go to protect Liam while serving Heaven, and Liam must save him from having to make the choice.

THE FORCES OF HEAVEN AND HELL ALIKE is an 80,000 word completed urban fantasy.

====================================================

#11: REMAINDERS

Sneaking out didn't turn out to be such a good plan after all.

Sixteen-year-old Camryn Brock ends up needing a white knight-style rescue when a group of drunk guys get some bad ideas. And then a stranger named Christian saves her. But there's only one problem: he's pretty insistent that she not go home.

Trapped at his family’s secluded Maine estate, Camryn discovers Christian is a lot to take in: sixteen, stubborn, sizzling-hot, and oh, yeah--in charge of a group of elite warriors chosen to fight evil.

Camryn shouldn’t fall in love, and she definitely shouldn’t want to stay--but she does.

She must figure out what the Remainders are hiding, what Christian really wants with her, and how she’s gonna get her butt back home.

But mainly? Why she fits in so damn well.

REMAINDERS is a YA paranormal romance complete at 85,000 words.

====================================================

#12: THE SECRET LIFE OF LEMONS

If Junie Baltimore had spent more time listening to the transistor radio in her family's restaurant, she would've heard the song and known that it was always meant for her.

Junie, a Bon Jovi-obsessed eighteen-year-old, bakes in her parents' restaurant while she for her chance at Food Network fame. When her gorgeous boyfriend dumps her for the former prom queen, her parents whisk her away on a family vacation to North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. There she stumbles into an adventure with a boy from her childhood, Robert Montgomery, and a single song--a song filled with lucid, beautiful, perfect notes.

A song about her.

By the end of the week, Junie has to make a choice. She wants to hear that song with all perfect notes, the one that might change her life forever, but when her ex-boyfriend comes crawling back with flowers and apologies, she's tempted to give him another chance. Junie has to discover that the heart is more reliable than it seems, and that with a little help from Bon Jovi, sometimes it’s now or never. She ain’t gonna live forever.

THE SECRET LIFE OF LEMONS is a Young Adult romance with a zest of Anna and the French Kiss and Audrey, Wait!--a kissing kind of book that, at the heart, becomes about those roads not taken, and where they might have led. It is complete at 78,000 words.

====================================================

#13: MAX’S HOUSE #1: NEW BEGINNINGS

Max Seward, Jr., thought the summer of 1941 would be the best summer ever. His summer vacation starts with the girl he’s always liked finally becoming his girlfriend. But later that same day, Max’s father announces he’s divorced his mother, who has disappeared. Everyone in town knew they didn't have the greatest marriage, but divorce is something scandalous, especially for the town's wealthiest family.

The very next day Max’s father brings home a strange woman with three young daughters and announces they’re getting married. The discovery that the two of them have been having an affair for years shocks Max and his siblings, and his new "sisters" are monsters.

Max's cousin Elaine is the new girl in town, and no one but Max’s new girlfriend seems to like her. She also makes an enemy by dating a guy whom Mary, a local girl, has had her eye on. Mary turns half the town against her--even recruiting the guy's little sister to her cause--in her efforts to break the two of them up.

When Max and Elaine are sent home early from the first "family" vacation, they return to a locked mansion, and then… (?)

MAX’S HOUSE #1: NEW BEGINNINGS, the first in a YA series combining historical fiction, humor, and social satire, is complete at 60,000 words.

====================================================

#14: BLACK LACE AND THE CLOCK TOWER

Eighteen-year-old Vivienne would rather study the clockwork mechanics in Merlin's tower than perform her duties as Lady Guinevere's lady-in-waiting. She needs the distraction now more than ever—Squire Marcus, with his violet eyes and contagious energy, has captured Vivienne’s heart, but he's about to take a vow of chastity.

When the king’s sorceress sister, Morgan le Fay, threatens the kingdom, Vivienne must choose: she can help Merlin create the perfect weapon: a revolutionary blend of steam-powered machinery and the mystical science of alchemy, or she can return Marcus’s declaration of love and run away with him. But if she does, Camelot will lose its only hope--the terrifying weapon that dwells in the secret catacombs… which only she can awaken.

BLACK LACE AND THE CLOCK TOWER, a YA steampunk romance, is complete at 98,000-words.

====================================================



  • #1: NOCTURNE
  • #2: OUT OF THE WATER
  • #3: SPRING TIDE
  • #4: THREADS
  • #5: SACRIFICE
  • #6: ALL SHE NEEDS IS LOVE
  • #7: THE MESSENGER'S HANDBOOK
  • #8: TRIANGLE
  • #9: MIRRORMASTERS
  • #10: THE FORCES OF HEAVEN AND HELL ALIKE
  • #11: REMAINDERS
  • #12: THE SECRET LIFE OF LEMONS
  • #13: MAX’S HOUSE #1: NEW BEGINNINGS
  • #14: BLACK LACE AND THE CLOCK TOWER

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cover Reveal!


BETRAYED
Lil isn't just an average teenager. She's one of the Nephilim--the descendants of humans and angels--which gives her some serious psi skills and a mission for redemption. Just when Lil thinks she's found a balance between her normal life with human friends and her training to become a Guardian, she's warned that someone close to her will betray her. When the boy she loves starts acting strangely and one of her human friends acquires a supernatural ability, Lil begins to realize that someone is manipulating the people she loves... and won't stop until she's been lured to the dark side.

Title: Betrayed
Series: Guardian Legacy
Author: Ednah Walters
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press, www.SpencerHillPress.com
ISBN: 978-1-937053-18-5 (Trade Paper), 978-1-937053-19-2 (e-book)
Release Date: June, 2012

We're delighted that Ednah Walters has joined Spencer Hill Press! 

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Great Query Contest of October 2011: PART 2

Thanks to everyone who sent in their queries! Next week, the voting will begin. If you'd like a revised version of your query in the contest, please send it in via email or through the contact from at www.Ganzfield. com.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

QUERY CRITIQUE #14: BLACK LACE AND THE CLOCK TOWER

Dear ____________:

(Personalized)

Eighteen-year-old Vivienne doesn't care for being Guinevere's lady-in-waiting. It’s nothing against the future queen of Camelot; she’s rather lovely. Vivienne would simply rather take to Merlin's tower to learn about the mechanics of clockwork inventions. Especially now that Lancelot's new squire, Marcus, has captured Vivienne’s heart with his violet eyes and contagious energy. As it's a rather painful situation when the object of one's affection is about to take a vow of chastity, the clock tower is by far a preferred distraction.

I think this would work better with a stronger opening hook. I also find the time cues confusing; Lancelot's "new" squire has already captured her heart and made her look for a distraction. I like this premise, though; it's out-of-the-box thinking for both the Camelot myth as well as steampunk, which is largely Victorian.

Dear Ms. Kaynak,

Eighteen-year-old Vivienne would rather study the clockwork mechanics in Merlin's tower than perform her duties as Lady Guinevere's lady-in-waiting. She needs the distraction now more than ever—Squire Marcus, with his violet eyes and contagious energy, has captured Vivienne’s heart, but he's about to take a vow of chastity.

But when the king’s sorceress sister, Morgan le Fay, threatens the kingdom, Vivienne is torn. Cursed by the sorceress, Merlin needs an apprentice’s help to create the perfect weapon: a revolutionary blend of steam-powered machinery and the mystical science of alchemy. Vivienne could help him build it, or she could give up on Camelot, return Marcus’s declaration of love, and run away with him instead. But if Marcus gives up on knighthood, Vivienne would be to blame for the consequences: disaster for Camelot and its only hope, the terrifying weapon that dwells in the secret catacombs, waiting to be awakened.

There's a LOT of info in this paragraph, and it muddles the overall plot. Distill it to the essence.

When the king’s sorceress sister, Morgan le Fay, threatens the kingdom, Vivienne must choose: she can help Merlin create the perfect weapon: a revolutionary blend of steam-powered machinery and the mystical science of alchemy, or she can return Marcus’s declaration of love and run away with him. But if she does, Camelot will lose its only hope--the terrifying weapon that dwells in the secret catacombs… which only she can awaken.

BLACK LACE AND THE CLOCK TOWER, a YA steampunk romance, is complete at 98,000-words.

Thank you,

Sincerely,

I'm intrigued enough with the unique intertwining of themes that I'd ask for pages, so I could see how strong the writing is. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

QUERY CRITIQUE #13: MAX’S HOUSE #1: NEW BEGINNINGS


Dear Ms. Kaynak,

Max Seward, Jr., thought the summer of 1941 would be the best summer ever. His summer vacation starts with his dream come true, the girl he’s always liked finally approaching him and becoming his girlfriend. But later that same day, Max’s father announces he’s divorced Mrs. Seward, who’s nowhere to be found. Everyone in town knows they never exactly had the greatest marriage, but that wasn’t a reason to do something so scandalous as get divorced.

To make matters worse, the very next day Max’s father brings home a strange woman with three young daughters and announces they’re getting married within weeks. Max, his siblings, and his cousin Elaine are scandalized when they learn Mr. Seward has been having a longterm affair with this woman. Not only that, but the girls are monsters.

This sets up the premise, characters, and conflict nicely, but the wording can be tightened a bit. You also repeat versions of "scandalize." Avoid using clichés like "dream come true" and "nowhere to be found." Later on, you mention a "mansion," but I think that if they are living in a mansion, then they aren't just average citizens, and that status should come out sooner.

Max Seward, Jr., thought the summer of 1941 would be the best summer ever. His summer vacation starts with the girl he’s always liked finally becoming his girlfriend. But later that same day, Max’s father announces he’s divorced his mother, who has disappeared. Everyone in town knew they didn't have the greatest marriage, but divorce is something scandalous, especially for the town's wealthiest family.

The very next day Max’s father brings home a strange woman with three young daughters and announces they’re getting married. The discovery that the two of them have been having an affair for years shocks Max and his siblings, and his new "sisters" are monsters.

Elaine, the new girl in town, is meanwhile having problems of her own. As hard as she tries to make friends, no one but Max’s new girlfriend wants to befriend her. She also quickly makes an enemy when she discovers another girl has long had her eye on her new boyfriend. This girl is convinced Elaine maliciously stole him from her, and even enlists his annoying little sister to try to break them up at every turn.

I think that the jealous girl is important enough to the storyline that you might want to mention her name. I'm naming her "Mary" here, just for the example.

Max's cousin Elaine is the new girl in town, and no one but Max’s new girlfriend seems to like her. She also makes an enemy by dating a guy whom Mary, a local girl, has had her eye on. Mary turns half the town against her--even recruiting the guy's little sister to her cause--in her efforts to break the two of them up.

The nightmare culminates in being forced to pack up and take their first summer vacation together as a family after Mr. Seward prematurely comes home from his honeymoon. Max, his older sister, and Elaine can take it no longer and start a fight that gets them sent back home to fend for themselves.

But if Max and Elaine think the nightmare is finally over once they come home, they’re in for more rude surprises. Coming home to a locked mansion, having to enter through the chimney, and finding the water out are only the beginning of one of the most unforgettable summers of their lives.

This next part confuses me as a reader. It includes too much plot details, I think. I'm also confused as to whether Elaine is now living with Max's family, whether Max's father is part of this family vacation, and I'm wondering whether Max is going to look into where his mother has gone, since that seems like a big issue. I also think the details of how they get into a house that doesn't have the water turned on are unnecessary, while the event(s) that make it an "unforgettable" summer should be included.

When Max and Elaine are sent home early from the first "family" vacation, they return to a locked mansion, and then… (?)

MAX’S HOUSE #1: NEW BEGINNINGS, the first in a YA series combining historical fiction, humor, and social satire, is complete at 60,000 words.

There's nothing in the narrative voice of this query that indicates humor or satire. Either bring that out more in the opening paragraphs or cut the description here. I'm also not thrilled with the title, especially with the number in it; perhaps shortening to MAX'S HOUSE would be more compelling. 

I have a degree in history from [redacted] and worked in the production room of a local newspaper for five years.

Sincerely,