Category Archives: News

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I Haz Brainz… I Swear

Well… that wasn’t stressful at all.

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Sent off my first query letter/publisher submission for In Plain Sight. WHEEEEE!!

After searching high and low on the main website for exact submission guidelines and only finding a few general guidelines, I did (what I thought) was my best effort to comply and hit the send button. I did get the auto-reply (yay… they got it!!!), and it directed me to their FB page if I had any other questions.

Now I did browse their FB page at one point earlier in the week, but never came across this, but today found a section with a more exacting detail of how to submit. Which would have been so much more helpful if it had been on the actual website under the FAQs. Because… best intentions aside, I left a few things off, which apparently they really wanted – like you know CONTACT DETAILS. Why the hell would they need those!!!! *headdesk*

I know, it should have been a no-brainer, but apparently I’m dumb – don’t judge, it’s been a stressful summer. 😄 Hopefully they’ll consider my email address valid enough contact information to start (assuming I get that far).

In any case… please send brains, apparently I’m in need of a few extra. ❤

 

Fun While It Lasted…

All things eventually come to a end, it’s a fairly inevitable part of life. Sad to say, in this case – I did not make it through to the semi-finals of the ABNA, which as I mentioned previously wasn’t entirely unexpected, despite the somewhat positive PW review.

Anyways, still extremely happy to have made it as far as I did. It’s been a great experience, and looking forward to potentially doing it again sometime in the future. In the meantime, I’ll continue to do some last minute editing on In Plain Sight, and then start sending off some query letters, so I can get this baby published.

Thank you again to everyone who has stuck with me on this awesome journey. I truly appreciate everything you all have done for me. Would never have gotten this far without you!!  ❤ ❤

 

Publishers Weekly Review…

One of the benefits of participating in the ABNA and making through the quarter-finals, is getting a genuine Publishers Weekly review of your manuscript. If you are self-publishing, this is something that normally costs about $150 to submit, and it’s still sort of hit or miss as to when (or if) they will actually publish your review, so as a prize it’s a pretty cool deal even if one doesn’t make it to the final round.

So, even though the next round isn’t announced for another couple weeks, our PW reviews came in the other day. Judging by the amount of moaning and groaning in the various ABNA related forums, there were a lot that were fairly brutal. Even in cases (like mine) where the review was overall positive, it’s still one of those things that is more like a back-handed compliment in places, and trying to come up with a decent blurb out of it will likely take a bit of cut and paste.

The good news, is that it wasn’t a bad review… YAY!!!! There are even parts of it that are really encouraging, but the summary part is a bit funky in places – not that it’s necessarily wrong, just think it could have been phrased better.  Also… I beg anyone to find a romance novel these days that doesn’t have cliches. I’m pretty sure that there are very few truly “never been done before” stories in any genre at this point. Personally (as a reader) I don’t care either way as long as I enjoy the characters and the actual storyline, which thankfully my review seems to have felt the same way (at least in some aspects)…

Set against the backdrop of Civil War Virginia, this absorbing novel has clear enough prose and charming characters to transcend it’s familiar plot devices such as Confederate-Yankee romance, a woman in drag, and tired sexual cliches: “Ry was flying. Nothing in her life had prepared her for the multitude of sensations that were flooding her body.” Rylee James, a young beauty with dead parents, is getting through the war, holding her home together with the help of her two devoted (and free) African American servants.  She is counting the days until peace returns and her beloved brother Matthew can return home. When she learns that Matthew has been taken prisoner by Union troops stationed nearby, she hacks off her hair, binds her breasts, christens herself James Rylee and uses the medical know-how she learned from her father to talk her way into the Union camp. There she not only finds and helps her brother – she also falls in love with the sexy Union captain. The very real question of whether all the principals will make it through the war adds a bit of suspense to this engaging romance.

So…

“Set against the backdrop of Civil War Virginia… clear prose and charming characters… this absorbing novel … transcends.”

” Engaging romance.”

As to what this actually means in terms of moving to the next round, I truly have no idea. The next round relies solely on the PW reviewer and the score that they compiled while doing that review, based on the following (1-5 points for each section)…

  • Character development
  • Originality of idea
  • Plot
  • Prose/style
  • Overall strength of submission

Clearly I’m going to get dinged on “originality”, but hoping that the other ones might be at least fairly high scoring. But of course it will depend too on how the other entries do, so still a nail-biter till the end.

The thing too is that really the next round doesn’t really mean a whole lot, there’s no extra prize for it (other than the … hey I made it to the semi-finals blurb I could put on my book cover), it just narrows down the pool to the top 5 in each genre for the judges to pick the 5 finalists from (1 from each genre). I’m fairly certain (though it would be really cool if I was wrong), that I won’t make it all the way to being a finalist. But if I could make the top 5 that would still be awesome!!

Anyways… back to pulling my hair out waiting for the announcements. 😄

 

ABNA – Excerpts Available to Review

Just realized I never posted this here. Sometimes I swear if my head wasn’t attached. 😄

Excerpts of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award entries are available on Amazon.com for the public to read and review. Anyone who would like to read a couple chapters of In Plain Sight and leave a review, can do so here (or click the image below).

For those who have already left theirs, THANK YOU!!!!! I really appreciate it. ❤ ❤

 

*squeeeeeeeeeeeee*

(actual approximation of the sounds I was making… I swear… along with quite a bit of screaming and manic giggling)

It’s a question I posed before, and now I’ll pose it again (and maybe if I’m REALLY, REALLY lucky I can do it again in June)…

GUESS WHO MADE IT TO THE QUARTER-FINALS IN THE ABNA CONTEST?!!!!!

quarter finals

I’m seriously so excited, and nervous and excited and nervous – being this happy should not make one’s belly feel so funky!! Still a long way to go, but a whole lot closer than I thought I’d ever get.

You guys are awesome!! ❤