Monday, May 18, 2015

Where to eat and drink for the #AustinAuthorAffair

Welcome to my hometown! I take my food and drink very seriously, and I know a lot of authors and readers are planning to enjoy restaurants around the hotel, so I want to make sure you go to the right places. Here are my recommendations for yummy LOCAL places in the area:

Z'Tejas Arboretum
9400 Arboretum Blvd
Austin, TX 78759

"Taking flavors from Spanish and Mexican cuisines and combining them with inspirations from Arizona, Louisiana, California, New Mexico and Texas, Z’Tejas created a rich blend of flavors that we’ve come to celebrate as Southwestern cuisine."

Manuel's Arboretum Mexican Restaurant

10201 Jollyville Rd
Austin, TX 78759

"From the farm to the sea, we prepare Mexican food infused with unique, savory flavors, and steeped in tradition. Our award-winning mole and famous margaritas transport you to a place of timeless satisfaction."


Great Hills Market
9828 Great Hills Trail
Austin, TX 78759

"Our menu features Original Texas Cheesesteaks, scratch made Queso, Guacamole and Salsa as well as Signature Sauces that are made in-house every day. Other offerings include Burgers, Salads and Deli Sandwiches."

Iron Cactus Mexican Grill & Margarita Bar

10001 Stonelake Blvd
Austin, TX 78759

"Our combination of unique flavors and proven cooking methods are combined to create cuisine with the spirit and flavor of old Mexico. Featuring over 100 tequilas, the Iron Cactus has been named a top ten tequila bar by such national publications as Chili Pepper Magazine and Spirits and Cocktails."

NXNW Restaurant & Brewery - Stonelake

10010 N Capital of Texas Hwy
Austin, TX 78759

"Craft brewed beer and fabulous food come together in a fun and interesting atmosphere. North by Northwest is home to some of the finest brews in the Southwest. We are proud to offer a varied selection of annual as well as seasonal and specialty brews."

Amy's Ice Creams

The Arboretum at Great Hills
10000 Research Blvd
Austin, TX 78759

"Home of the world famous Mexican Vanilla Ice Cream. Established in 1984, Amy's handcrafts artisan super premium ice creams, dairy-free fruit ices and frozen yogurt!"

Baby Acapulco Restaurant

Embassy Suites Austin - Arboretum
9505 Stonelake Blvd
Austin, TX 78759

"Over the last three decades, Baby A’s has put its fingerprint on signature Tex-Mex dishes and was hailed as the originator of “Fruity Ritas” and our “Purple Rita” in town and around the world."

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Best BAD Query Contest #bestbadquery #bestbadpitch

There are so many contests out there that celebrate the good, but what about the bad and just uuuuuuuugly? Well, that's us! After the stress of #pitchslam, #pitchmad, and #nestpitch, the #bestbadquery contest is all about having fun and celebrating terrible-ness.

Here is how to play:

1) Sign up on the linky below
2) On 6/1/15, Post your TERRIBLE query and 35 word pitch on your blog (or however many words you feel need to follow guidelines here). If you wish, also tweet your pitch with the #bestbadpitch tag.
3) Read the other entries and come back here to vote for the worst!

The winner will get a $25 Amazon gift card and the honor of sucking it up the most in 2015! 

This contest is all about FUN! It's not about being mean to anyone, including yourself! So that means no real queries or pitches and no basing your query or pitch on a real book or author. You must write a query and pitch from scratch using all your backwards creative juices to make it a real stinker.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

#CoverReveal UNDERCOVER EMPATH by @RaShelleWorkman

International bestselling author RaShelle Workman has a new book coming out from Curiosity Quills Press!

Nineteen-year-old detective Rose Hansen has a secret. She can read a person’s intentions by touching their hands and that’s the least strange thing about her. 

Only one person knows, her partner Jack.

At least that’s what she believes until a handsome, shirtless stranger appears on her doorstep in small town Blush Valley, California. He leaves her an envelope, but not before articulating his disappointment in her for ignoring her powers. The contents send Rose on a path toward the supernatural, solving her parents’ murders, and possibly even saving the world.

Aside from that, Rose and her partner have two important cases they’re working. The first involves a missing child. The other is the death of a stripper. Once it is ruled a serial killing, a very hot FBI agent from L.A. shows up and is given lead. To make matters worse, he asks her to go undercover. As a stripper. And that is just the beginning of her troubles...
And now for the cover!

About RaShelle Workman: RaShelle Workman is a bestselling author, wannabe chef, and dog lover. She's publishing a brand new series entitled UNDERCOVER EMPATH with her amazing publisher, Curiosity Quills. She's also been self-publishing since 2011 and has no interest in stopping. Her motto is: LOVE HURTS. LOVE HEALS. So LOVE HARD! And it shows in the different genres she writes. Her most popular series to date is BLOOD AND SNOW, a reimagining of Snow White with a vampire twist. There are several series within the Blood and Snow world, all inspired by different fairy tales, including THE CINDY CHRONICLES, THE BEASTLY SERIES, and THE EVER AFTER SERIES as well as several short stories. In 2016 she's releasing a new adult series from the world entitled THE DARK MOTH SOCIETY. The series has sold more than a million copies worldwide since release of the first book in 2012. RaShelle is also the author of The Immortal Essence series (ya sci-fi romance), Sleeping Roses (contemporary romantic suspense), and Across the Ages (ya time travel romance). Her books: Sleeping Roses, Exiled, Beguiled, and Dovetailed have foreign rights contracts with a Turkish publisher. Currently, RaShelle lives in Utah with her husband, three children, and their three dogs. Visit her website to join RaShelle's EXCLUSIVE mailing list and be entered to win a signed paperback copy of Blood and Snow volumes 1- 4 (Special Edition). And be sure to like her Facebook page for all the latest news. 

Find RaShelle on Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Blog

RaShelle is giving away $25 Paypal cash during the cover reveal! Be sure to help spread the word to win! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 10, 2015

#NestPitch #TeamUnbreakable

Welcome to the big day! Today, agents will be making requests on #NestPitch submissions, and I hope they grab some of the kick butt submissions on #TeamUnbreakable!

Here is the team:

SB#1 The Curse of Jenny Greenteeth - YA Thriller
SB#5 It Happened on Thunder Road - YA Romance

Only agents will be able to comment on the entries.

The agent round will begin 8.30 am EST (USA) and go on for 24 hours.

The requests will be made according to the following list:

Choc. egg basket w/ ribbon = Full
Choc. egg basket = Query + 150 pages + 1 page Synopsis
3 Boxes Caramel eggs = Query + 100 pages
2 Boxes Caramel eggs = Query + 75 pages + 1 page Synopsis
1 Box Caramel eggs = Query + 50 pages
1 doz. nougat filled Choc. eggs = Query + 25 pages + 1 page Synopsis
½ doz. nougat filled Choc. eggs = Query + 20 pages
1x nougat filled Choc. egg = Query + 15 pages + 1 page Synopsis
1 doz. hollow Choc eggs = Query + 10 pages
½ doz. hollow Choc eggs = Query + 5 pages + 1 page Synopsis
1x hollow Choc egg = Query + 5 pages

Be SURE to look at the main Nest Pitch blog which has all the information you'll ever need about what's happening.

Here are the other teams:

SB#5 It Happened on Thunder Road - YA Romance


It Happened on Thunder Road

YA romance with magical realistic elements

95,000 words

Moving to Nowheresville sucks...until 17 yo Emmy falls for two brothers. But when one is killed, possessing the other, life gets freaky. Now Emmy must exorcise the reckless spirit or risk losing them both.

QUESTION: What type of Easter Egg would your MC be?

ANSWER: It’s a secret, but I’ll give you a hint: candy, chocolate, malt.

FIRST 300:
Sunshine stood in the crowd just beyond the airport terminal. Even after four years I couldn’t miss her. No one could miss my mother. She was wearing her skirt of many colors as I called it—a skirt she made years ago out of old bandanas. It sagged toward the floor like a tattered battle flag, which had clearly seen better days, the longer pieces grazing the tops of her ankles. And, if the skirt wasn’t weird enough, she had flowers in her hair. Literally.
Her eyes widened, and she threw her hands in the air, waving frantically. “Over here.”
Everyone turned to look at her.
I ducked my head and took my time getting to her because my legs were shaking.  If Dad cared about me even a smidgen, he’d have insisted I fly in a Boeing 747 rather than a rickety old puddle-jumper. But no, all he thought about was getting to his new engineering job in Iraq. I was just another part of the preparations.
Sunshine didn’t wait, but ran to me with open arms. “Emerald, look how much you’ve grown.”
No one had called me Emerald since middle school. I changed my name to Emmy when Sunshine left. It sounded more normal. I patted her back once and dropped my arm.
“What kind of hug is that?” she asked, squeezing me tighter.
“Stop it, Sun…Mom. You’re cutting off my air supply.” Was she deluded enough to think after deserting me things would be the same?
“I’m sorry. I’ve missed you so much. How have you been, baby? How was your flight?"
I focused on a kid and woman racing to the gate to greet a man with a briefcase. A real family. The kind I wanted to have.

SB#4 Rainbirds - Adult Mystery



Adult Mystery with Elements of Magical Realism

80,000 words

Japan 1994: Twenty-four-year-old Ren Ishida’s humdrum life is shaken by his older sister’s murder. Guided by recurring dreams of a little girl, he discovers a painful truth that unearths secrets from his past.

QUESTION: What type of Easter Egg would your MC be?
ANSWER: Curry flavour, because that’s my favourite food.

FIRST 300:

At first, nothing was unusual.

In my dream, I was on the phone with my sister. She sat at her desk by the window in her rented room in Akakawa. The sun shone through the curtain, casting brown highlights on her long dark hair. She asked me question after question, but I wasn’t in the mood to talk.

Then, before my eyes, she crumbled and turned to ashes.


When I woke up in a black sedan, the dream would have slipped from my mind had it not been for the white porcelain urn in my lap. Shaped like a vase, it was decorated with a painting of a falling cuckoo and chrysanthemums. Inside were the ashes of my sister. Keiko Ishida was only thirty-three when she died.

I loosened my tie and asked Honda, “How much longer?”

He turned the steering wheel. “Almost there.”

“Mind putting on some music?”

“Of course not,” he answered, flicking a button.

The radio played Billie Holiday’s “Summertime”.

For a Friday afternoon, the journey was smooth. The sun was high, no traffic jam in sight. Even the music was the kind that makes you tap your fingers.

My hands tightened and I stared at them. Honda’s eyes shifted to me.

“Keiko used to love jazz,” he said.

I nodded, unable to speak. The stack of cassettes that made up her collection, what would happen to them now?

“The funny thing was, she couldn’t name a single jazz musician,” he continued.

I cleared my throat. “You don’t need to be knowledgeable to appreciate jazz.”

“Well said, Ishida.”

Actually, it was my sister who had once said those words to me.

SB#3 Like Stitching Coffee Cups - NA Contemporary Romance


Like Stitching Coffee Cups

NA Contemporary Romance

86,000 words

PITCH: Struggling artist Cam wrestles with the depression and intimacy issues that fuel her work. When a friendly barista interrupts her downward spiral, she must choose between a chance at happiness and her much-needed muse.

QUESTION: What type of Easter Egg would your MC be?

ANSWER: She’d be coffee flavored. Strong and slightly bitter, with a fabulous aftertaste.

FIRST 300:
It’s a three block walk to the coffee shop, although it might as well be three miles in this humidity. I’m breathing and drowning all at once, and I’ve never been so decaffeinated in my whole life. A less than stellar start to my week, definitely.
Black iron tables outside of The Brews beckon me from a half block away, and I pick up my pace. I order quickly and head back outside with my little mug of heaven, smiling as I pull a book from my bag. My friend, Gina, declared it a “total heartbreaker” when she shoved it into my hands earlier. I hope she’s right, I’m desperate.
 It’s been over a week since I last cried; and no tears mean no painting. No painting means not making rent. Again. If I don’t unclog my emotional pores soon, I’m well and truly screwed. 
Heat radiates up from the pavement and snakes around my ankles, competing with the sun to see who can chase me into air conditioning first. Neither one wins though, I don’t give up that easily. I flip to the next page and reach my arms up into a stretch, smiling as a bead of sweat trails down my spine and drips off each vertebra.

A woman bustles passed, knocking into my chair without as much as a mumbled apology. I glare after her, accidentally making eye contact with the nameless barista in the window. It’s kind of startling to see him there, to really look at him, I mean, to see his eyes, his mouth, the curve of his nose. I forget other people aren’t all blank slates and stand ins; that they’re real people with thoughts, dreams and tastes all their own. In fairness, I forget this about myself sometimes too.