Monday, June 30, 2014

#MyWritingProcess Blog Hop

Hey there! James Wymore tagged me in the #MyWritingProcess Blog Hop! Check out James's #MyWritingProcess here:
Here is a little more about the hop: 

We writers share these things, but informally during workshops and at conferences (and, for a handful of established writers, in printed interviews), but not so much through our open-forum blogs. With the hashtag #MyWritingProcess, you can learn how writers all over the world answer the same four questions. How long it takes one to write a novel, why romance is a fitting genre for another, how one’s playlist grows as the draft grows, why one’s poems are often sparked by distress over news headlines or oddball facts learned on Facebook…

The Four Questions:

1) What am I working on?

The December People Series. I just finished a round of editing for book 2, so I'm taking a moment to decompress. However, soon I'll finish writing book 3.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My series is a fantasy, but magic is only part of the story. Unlike most fantasies, the series could exist without any magic at all, because the family drama is also a critical part of the plot. Of course, it would be way less fun without the magic!

3) Why do I write what I do?

I love writing in the sci-fi and fantasy genres because I spend all my time in the real world. I want to escape into something different! Something magical and unknown. However, I love the complexities of humans and relationships too, so my perfect story has magic and complex characters with real life issues.

4) How does my writing process work?

I write in spurts. 10,000-20,000 words over the course of a few days. Then, I won't write at all for a while. Once the words start flowing, it's hard to stop them. But, life doesn't stop so I can write! However, a lot of my "writing" is done away from the page. I "write" scenes in my head while driving in the car, jogging, taking a shower, etc. In that way, I "write" almost constantly. When I have a backlog of scenes in my head that need to get on paper, I sit down and write.

I have chosen three writers I would like to hear from:

Katie Hamstead - Katie is a friend and a prolific writer. I'd love to hear more how she juggles being a wife and mother with writing jillions of books!

J.P. Sloan - He likes craft beer and Cards Against Humanity, so he's awesome by default. I can't wait to get to know his writing better.

Nikola Vukoja - She recently published a chapbook, but is yet to be published in novel form. However, I'm currently beta reading her novel and am totally lost in her world. I look forward to more from Nik.

If they accept the challenge, they'll post their answers to the same four questions next Monday!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Review of Elvis Presley CIA Assassin


"I can guarantee you. Read this book and you'll never look at Elvis the same way again!" -- Douglas Brode, author of Elvis Cinema and Popular Culture. 

In 1970, singer Elvis Presley secretly met with President Richard Nixon. This new comedic novel imagines that Presley became a Central Intelligence Agency operative, eventually moving up through the ranks to become a skilled assassin. 

Presented in an oral history fashion, the book tells us about Presley's secret transformation by the people who knew him best. 

Did he fake his death in 1977? Was Presley involved with the Watergate scandal? The Iran hostage crisis? Communicating with aliens? 

Read this book to find out the answers to these and many more questions.


Told in mockumentary style (what's the book word for that?), Elvis Presley CIA Assassin tells the story of an Elvis who dreams of being a CIA assassin, and is willing to do anything to achieve this dream. The story is written as a fake non-fiction story from the perspectives of the people closest to Elvis, and includes fake transcripts and letters. All in all, it's very unique.

The story is hilarious, clever, and the author has a great voice. It's just so creative. Not like anything I've read before. I will say, the Elvis the author creates is a despicable psychopath, and I did find his behavior tiring at times. It's tough to have a book centered around such an unlikable protagonist.

If you're a fan of edgy humor, and authors such as Ryan Hill and William Vitka, I think you'll enjoy this too.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Introduce Your Main Character Bloghop

I was tagged by the lovely Elsie Elmore to participate in the Introduce Your Main Character Bloghop. She tagged me three days ago, so hopefully the tag doesn't expire. :) Currently, I'm eyes-deep in The December People Series, working in some form or fashion on books 2-4 all at once. So, it's hard to nail down the right story to tell for the hop.

However, I just finished editing book 2, WATCH ME BURN, so I'll focus on that one. In the December People Series, I have what I like to think of as an "ensemble cast." David Vandergraff is technically my MC, but the true MC is the Vandergraff family as a whole and the story is told from multiple perspectives. Book 1 is told primarily from the viewpoints of David and his son Patrick. Book 2 is the same, but a third character shares major story telling duties--Emmy Vandergraff. So, to mix things up, she'll be my "MC" for this bloghop.

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Not perfect for Emmy, but it works...and she does look frazzled and confused in a forest.

1. What is the name of your main character? Is he fictional or a historic person?

Fortunately, Emmy Vandergraff is fictional.

2. When and where is the story set?

This story will begin in late July of this year, in and around Houston, Texas.

3. What should we know about her?

Between book 1 and book 2, Emmy is the character that grows and changes the most. She starts as a bratty little kid, and by the end of book 2, well...she's still a bratty little kid, but a much more complicated one. In book 1 she failed to help her friend, and in book 2 she's determined to make up for past mistakes. She shows how courageous and heroic she actually is.

4. What is the main conflict? What messes up her life?

Julie Prescott, Emmy's nemesis from volleyball camp goes missing. Learning she's in danger is upsetting, but the disappearance doesn't become personal until she finds evidence that someone in her family might have been involved. Then, Emmy becomes desperate to solve the mystery and save Julie.

5. What is her personal goal?

Emmy's primary goal is to find Julie. And, she wants to know the truth about what happened to her to assuage her fears about her family's involvement.

6. Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

WATCH ME BURN - You can learn more here.

7. When can we expect the books to be published?

The release date hasn't been set yet, but it will be available by the end of the year.

I'll tag a few more participants on Facebook!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Musings by @Nik_Vukoja - A Chapbook Supporting @AnimalsAsia

I am pleased to share a review of Musings - Thoughts & Reflections on Love, Life & Surviving Heartache by Nikola Vukoja.

In this short and sweet collection, you'll find a variety of emotional and lyrical poems that range from deeply personal stories of her childhood to a metaphorical allegory featuring a dove and a swan. I was impressed by her lyrical voice and also her range. Each poem had her distinct flavor but still felt very different. After the poetry, she shares three short stories featuring Croatian mythology. She mentions that these are a taste of a future full-length novel, and I'm quite glad! I look forward to reading more of the story.

And, by buying this book you support a great cause. 25% of the proceeds support AnimalsAsia, an organization that works to end bear bile farming, promote cat and dog welfare, and end abuse and neglect in zoos and safari parks.

On Smashwords, you can use the coupon code RL33S, which will allow anyone buying the chapbook a 30% discount (between 21st June -21st July 2014).

Nikola was kind enough to allow me to share a sample poem and it was difficult to choose one because they are so different. I finally decided on Autumn Child because I love the imagery and the story behind it.

Autumn Child

Looking back on memories past; 
ones collected from snapshots and moments in time, these remain the memories closest to my heart.

Thoughts filled with long autumn days; 
of foggy morns sliding with my friends on crystal grass as the dawn’s green carpet crackled under the stomp of water-proof feet;
and mittens and scarves to kept out the cold. 

Collecting mushrooms in the chilled, misty morn, with baskets and gumboots and laughter.  
Sunday breakfast when we’d all sit together;
telling stories and sharing our future dreams over bacon, sausages and eggs.

With Blackie The Cat stretched out on the old wooden bench, peaceful, quiet and content, while bee’s collected the last of the summer nectar before the silence that winter brings.

Late season plums and rosehips in big cane baskets. Tantalizing bottles of preserved peaches and pickled peppers lined pantry shelves. 
The sweet smell of caramelized sugar as home-made jams bubbles on the stove, the aroma of cakes and fresh baked bread.

These are my memories of autumn as a child growing up; with three brothers, a cat, a horse, two dogs, and all kind of fowl. 

The sad, the bad and the ugly, although I’m sure were there too, have drifted away like chimney smoke into the stillness of the night.
These memories float back as the days get shorter, the night’s cooler.
Memories; triggered by the smell of open fires or the stillness of the morning broken by a cooing of a pair of ring-necked doves. 

I often long to be that child again, when the world was safe and funny and warm and the nights were for playing games and slumber parties.

I share now as a woman all grown, with my nephews and niece some of these moments, the magic of secrets, and the joys of sloshing through muddy leaf-litter and the delicious pleasure of roasting chestnuts. For one day when they too are separated by time, by work, by distance, they can recall the magic of having felt truly happy.


More about Nikola Vukoja:

Born in Croatia, raised in Australia and living in France as well as traveled much of Europe, Nikola is a citizen of the world.
The eldest child in a large family, she speaks, reads and writes several languages.
She is a painter and a writer who is a true jack-of-all-trades having worked in sales & marketing, run a farm, owned a restaurant & catering company and worked as an accountant – she calls herself "a true-snake who tends to shed my old skin often".
Nikola hosts the #NestPitch competition and has several writing projects in the works.




Host/Administrator for #NestPitch Blog:

Win Signed Paperbacks and Swag at the Author Mashup in Rogers, AR #INDIEAUTHOREVENT

Planning on attending the Rogers Author Mashup on 7/26? Enter to win some free signed paperbacks and swag at the event! If you win, you must pick up your prize from the author during the signing portion of the event July 26th from 11am-3pm. No prizes will be shipped.

All prizes will include one free signing ticket so you can pick up your prize, but you might consider purchasing a VIP ticket that includes the panels, signing, and angels and sinners after party and cover model runway show!

We look forward to seeing you!


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New Release! Review of Broken Branch Falls by Tara Tyler

It's Beastly Blitz Day!

I'm excited to share that Broken Branch Falls, the new MG fantasy by Tara Tyler has released!!! If you're looking for a beastly read that's good for kiddos (and fun for grown-ups too), check out Broken Branch Falls. Perfect to read on long road trips and boring summer days.

My Review:

Broken Branch Falls is the story of Gabe, a free-thinking 15 year old goblin at an experimental integrated high school where four magical creatures (goblins, ogres, pixies, and elves) co-exist but are expected to stay separate. Gabe secretly wants to break out goblin stereotypes and play sports with the ogres. He unexpectedly gets his wish when he's forced on the football team as a punishment. To the distress of the High Council, Gabe's punishment backfires and he begins a trend of inter-species mingling. Now, Gabe and friends of all varieties must fight to keep their town together.

This book was a delight. The characters were fun and inventive, and the story has a great message. I'd love to read more if this was made into a series. This book would be great for fans of Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain. The age range is upper MG/lower YA, but it's good clean fun for all ages.

by Tara Tyler
Release Date: June 24, 2014
B&N ~~~ Amazon
Publisher: Curiosity Quills

Gabe is an average fifteen-year-old goblin. He’s in the marching band, breezes through calculus, and gets picked on daily by the other kids at school, especially the ogres. But Gabe wants to break out of his nerdy stereotype and try other things. He has his eye on the new ogress at school. Though it’s against all beastly rules, there’s just something about her.

Gabe starts a fad of mingling with other species, forcing the High Council to step in and ruin things by threatening to destroy the school and split up Broken Branch Falls. With help from other outcast friends, Gabe sets out on a quest to save his town. They'll show 'em what different friends can do together!

Add it to your GOODREADS list!

Tara Tyler has had a hand at everything from waitressing to rocket engineering. After living up and down the Eastern US, she now writes and teaches math in Ohio with her three active boys and Coach Husband. Currently, she has two series, The Cooper Chronicles (techno-thriller detective capers) and Beast World (MG fantasy) She's an adventure writer who believes every good story should have action, a moral, and a few laughs!

Also by Tara Tyler, techno-thriller detective series, The Cooper Chronicles, Book One: POP TRAVEL

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Love, Honor, & Hope - A Benefit for the United States War Veteran’s PTSD Foundation


Eight authors are joining forces to support one fantastic cause. Beginning June 24, 2014, Love, Honor, & Hope, an anthology of eight full-length novels, will be available for 30 days at the low price of $0.99. That’s right, just 99 pennies. The best part is that 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the United States War Veteran’s PTSD Foundation.

PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, affects approximately 19% of the military men and women returning from Afghanistan and Iraq—and that’s just those who have been diagnosed. The percentage is expected to grow as more of our military members seek treatment. It’s a heartbreaking trend for the men and women who sacrifice so much for our freedoms, especially with benefits being cut and promotions being threatened.

The United States War Veteran’s PTSD Foundation is a non-profit charity that focuses on providing FREE care to combat military members, both active and veterans. They can’t do it alone, which is why we’ve made the decision to step up and do something. All eight of the authors have their personal reasons for supporting this cause. Cherime MacFarlane, author of Heart of the Hunter said, “For me, it’s the way a very quiet man, my uncle, receded into the background whenever a family function took place. I did understand he came back from WWII that way. A young man, easy going and quick to laugh became a recluse. My father also served in WWI, as did a second uncle who returned far from the mischievous young man he was before the war claimed his youth. I was a young mother during the Vietnam era. I had friends who did not come back from Vietnam. I had other friends who did come home but were permanently damaged by the things they saw. For me, this is an opportunity to give back something to the men who served their country when the call came. My uncles and father are gone now, but I do hope, in some small way, to pay it forward for them. This is a tiny step, but as the man once said, every journey begins with that first step.”


It’s easy to sit back and talk about helping our veterans and active military members. To step up and help is something all together different. We are answering the call for help. Will you answer? All it takes is for you to log on to Amazon or Barnes & Noble and spend 99 cents, and then hopefully share the great news on our labor of love. Not only will you receive eight full-length novels for your enjoyment, you will also tell our men and women who suffer from this terrible and debilitating illness that we’ve got their backs.


Love, Honor, & Hope is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble from June 24 to July 23. It includes the following full-length novels:

Out of the Box Awakening - Jennifer Theriot
Early One Morning - Aubree Lane
Lost and Found - Jennifer Yarbrough
Scary Modsters - Diane Rinella
Tropical Dreams - Kelly Cozzone
Sisters of the Night - Linda Lee Williams
Heart of the Hunter - Cherime MacFarlane
Piece of Heaven - Sammie J

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Tribute to Summer Wizards

Happy Summer Solstice!

In book 1 of The December People Series, we don't learn much about summer wizards...expect for that they're self-righteous jerks. And, in some cases that's true, but there is so much more to the summer wizard.

Today is their day to shine (no pun intended). On the Summer Solstice, summer wizards are likely to gather with groups of friends and family for a big celebration, similar to Thanksgiving. On this day, they give thanks to light, the sun, and everything good in their lives. They are likely to pay tribute to the sun by spending time outdoors and eating feasts of summer fruits and veggies--the sun's bounty. Some will hang crystals from trees and in windows to scatter the sunlight in rainbows. At night, they will pay tribute to the light much like the Vandergraffs did on the winter solstice, by creating light displays that Mundanes would likely mistake for early 4th of July fireworks. You can also expect an impressive bonfire.

A summer wizard's magic is all about light, heat, and fire--both literally and figuratively. They also have powerful charisma, which means they are generally liked and trusted by all. In more extreme forms, a summer wizard's influence can be closer to hypnosis or mind control. Unlike winter wizards--who often hide their true nature--summer wizards have an incredible amount of pride and will almost always teach their children to practice magic. While winter wizards isolate themselves, summer wizards have a sense of community. The summer wizard population is still quite small, more like a large extended family than anything, but they do have their own schools, camps, organizations, leaders, and rules. They are quick to come to each others' aid when needed. The summer wizards' pack mentality is one of the things that makes them so powerful and dangerous to winter wizards.

But...are they the good guys? Well, they think they are. Summer wizards strongly believe in their own moral superiority. This can be a good and bad thing. On the bad side, their perceived moral superiority causes some summer wizards to persecute, exclude, or even hunt other types of wizards.

On the good side, summer wizards strongly value doing the right thing. They often choose helping professions and/or do volunteer work.  They hardly ever commit common misdeeds like lying, cheating, or stealing. Even those who do commit evil acts feel like they're doing so for "the greater good." Or they may commit smaller evils on the behalf of a larger virtue, such as love or loyalty.

Due to their belief in doing what's right and their strong family and community bonds, summer wizards generally lead happier lives than other types of wizards. They have more wealth, stronger marriages, and longer lives.

So, if you fall into the category of summer wizard, celebrate your awesome sunshiney self and have a joyful Solstice!

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Blurb and Title Reveal for Book 2 in The December People Series

Not the actual cover. :) Don't worry, you'll see it soon.
I'm excited to share the details for Book 2 in The December People Series! Here is the blurb for WATCH ME BURN:

David Vandergraff lost his home, his job, and contact with his oldest son, but remains determined to be a good husband and father despite being a dark winter wizard.

However, David's life is disrupted when he sees a flyer for a missing girl--who happens to be a summer witch. Her image haunts him so much he believes a spell needs to use him to save her.

Happy to play hero, David follows the magic's command and looks into her disappearance. His teenage daughter Emmy resents him for caring so much about a random summer witch. But when she uncovers some disturbing evidence close to home, she begins an investigation of her own.

David and Emmy quickly learn that the mystery is not only about a missing girl they barely know, but a deeply personal story that impacts everyone they care about. As their world crumbles, they fear the warning may be true—never mess with summer wizards, because the good guys always win.


            David Vandergraff could smell magic in the air, as clearly as he could smell the motor oil and burned coffee. When the news report began, the volume on the television became much louder, and the screen glowed as if demons would claw their way out at any minute. However, none of the other patrons in the waiting room of the mechanic's shop noticed anything different. They continued staring at their phones, looking pale and sick in the fluorescent lighting and excessive air conditioning. Before David had known he was a wizard, he dismissed such oddities as "just one of those things you can't explain". But now, he knew better.
The image of the missing girl on the screen shined so intensely he could see her outline burned into the blackness behind his eyelids when he blinked. The girl posed in her volleyball uniform, displaying a radiant white-toothed smile. She looked about fourteen or fifteen. She had blonde hair and golden skin and a strange radiating quality, as if the pixels in the television gave her an extra glow.
David shook his head at himself. Since he had learned he was a wizard, anytime he noticed anything strange, from bad weather to a headache, he feared magic was involved. His daughter Emmy was blonde, around the girl's same age, and played volleyball. So, the missing girl reminded him of Emmy—and of course, that would upset him. In any case, his heart always raced when he saw a missing child. Two of his own children had been missing for a long time. And even though they were now safe at home, he didn't think the fear and grief would ever leave him.
He tried to turn his attention back to scanning job listings on his tablet, but he had trouble seeing or hearing anything except the image on the screen. He couldn't focus his eyes on anything except the television report and all the other sounds turned into a whirring buzz.

Release Date? Cover? I don't have these yet, but hopefully soon! We're hoping for a fall release date.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Win a VIP Ticket to the Houston Indie Author Mashup

Are you going to be in the Houston area on 8/15 and 8/16? Check out one of the hottest author events in the area, the Houston Indie Author Mashup. Not only will you find tons of authors, they'll have cover models, music, and an after party! And, the event benefits the VFW.

Nice, right?

The Mashup coordinators are allowing each author to give away a VIP ticket, and I'm happy to do it! Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below.

The VIP ticket includes the panels, signing, and after party. To learn more about the tickets, click on the red Eventbrite button:

Eventbrite - Indie Mashup Houston

If you win a book, you'll have to pick it up from me at the Mashup. No shipping please. :)

I hope to meet you there!!

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Author Support Blog Hop

Welcome to the Author Support Blog Hop! Being an author is hard. Yeah, that's right. We don't spend our days pondering over novels in our mansions while our butlers bring us fresh espresso. Very few authors make enough money to write as a full time job. But, we do it anyway!

If you're like me, you wouldn't have it any other way. Not writing is NOT an option. But, that doesn't make jugging a writing career with a day job, family, and other responsibilities any easier.

So in today's bloghop, we discuss our crazy lives and how to manage them. Here are some ideas for what to put in your post:
  • WHAT do you do? Give us a summary of your crazy life and all your responsibilities
  • HOW do you do it? How do you manage to find time to write? What tips can you share?
  • WHY do you do it? Other than just sheer insanity, what keeps you going? Why have you chosen the life of an over-stressed author? What keeps you motivated during dark days?
  • QUESTIONS and PLEAS for help. Other authors will be reading your post, so if you have questions or want advice, you can ask. Also, if there is anything you need, or anything you can do to help others, mention that here as well.
As for me, I live a pretty hectic life. My husband and I tag team taking care of our 2 kids (4 & 1). He works during the day as a teacher, and I work at night as a tobacco cessation counselor. We both work full-time and don't have regular daycare arrangements.

I don't have a "writing schedule" or daily word count goals. Every moment I'm awake, I'm either at work or dealing with two very active boys. And, since I work until late at night, I don't get to enjoy much quiet time while the boys are sleeping. Time to write does not exist. However, I have managed to write three novels, and part of two more.

How? Well, I write sometimes while my kids watch television. I also write on the weekends when my husband is off from work and can help watch the kids. Since my husband is a teacher, it's also easier to find time in the summer.

In short, it's always a struggle. I'm constantly behind. I always have e-mails to answer, dishes to wash, laundry to do, and of course editing and writing to do. I'm never caught up and feel like I'm treading water to keep afloat. And, I'm stuck here. I have no intention of quitting writing, I can't quit my job, and obviously I wouldn't quit my family.

Why do I do it? That might be the hardest question, not because I don't know why I do it, but because it's so obvious to me, it's hard to put into words. I love to write. It gives me something to look forward to. Something to dream about. A way to be myself. I can't imagine not writing. So, it's happening. Period. I don't care how hard it is.

This is my life. My stress level is high, but I am very aware of the fact that I have a great life. One day, I mentioned to my husband, "I didn't know I could be so stressed and still be...happy."

As for help, just support me and all your fellow authors by buying books, writing reviews, and spreading the word!

Thank you for participating! I wish you all peace, hope, and strength. You're doing what you love and reaching for your dreams. That's a wonderful thing and it's worth it!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Worst Queries Ever Written - Congratulations To #bestbadquery Winners!

We had a lot of truly terrible queries to choose from, but you have picked a winner! Congratulations to Gina Denny! You stunk up the page better than anyone. Gina, please e-mail me (or use the contact me form) with your e-mail address so I can send you your $25 Amazon gift card.

And, in case anyone is just tuning in, this a contest for the best fake bad query...these talented writers wrote these as a joke. Any resemblance to real bad queries is purely coincidental. ;)

Here is Gina Denny's horrible query. It is so terrible--it's genius. Well done.

Dear Agents,

In a world where magic has been almost completely eliminated, I am Soozziey, a sorceress hiding in plane sight from those who would do me in. I have a problems that can only be solved by one person who's name is Chahruls - The Chosen One.

Have you ever wondered what would you do if you had to convince someone to help you when they have no reason to help you at all?

Chahruls and Soozziey travel through the kingdom of Farafel, escaping from legions of Scrapellium soldiers and meeting the Grungle creatures of the Redoin Realm. Jyssyie and Eric are there too for some reason. And summer is coming.

As we go about our adventures we run into all kind of trouble and problem and we sort of get attracted to each other... I don't know its confusing. You'll have to read the book to really know what I'm talking about LOL.

HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT: THE TRUE STORY OF HOW I FINISHED MY QUEST - A FICTION NOVEL is an adult fantasy romance western adventure story and is complete at 47,561 words. This is book one of a five book series.

I would say this book would probably appeal to readers of all kind, but mostly to fans of HARRY POTTER, TWILIGHT, THE DA VINCHI CODE, and GATSBY, the movie, not the book because I didn't read that book LOL.

I am currently completing the revisions ofthis novel but will gladly send you chapters as I finish them, one at a time. I have attached the first five chapters, each one in there own pdf documents. I know your submission guidelines says three chapters, but I have finished five and you're definitely gonna want to see all five that are so far done.

Please call me when you have time to discuss this and negotiate your roll in making this novel a bestseller and then someday a movie that stars Charlize Theron.

I have been writing since I was two-years-old and have taken, like, five community college classes on writing, if you count my English 101 class.

Thank you and godspeed.

- Gina Denny

I have no words. That's just BRILLIANT! It's got everything a bad query needs. I think my favorite line is, "Jyssyie and Eric are there too for some reason."

In second place, we have the very talented Jen Estes. I knew she was awesome. But I had no idea she was so awesome at being horrible. Check it out:

Fasten your seatbelts, ‘cause I’m about to make your day with my 40,000-word erotic fantasy, Turtle Recall.

It’s late 2014 and tortoises have enslaved mankind, led by their slightly grumpy turtle overlord, Count Leatherback, and his identical quadruplet brothers, Viscount Loggerhead, Lord Snapper, and Bob. But there’s dissention in the reptilian ranks when Bob meets Randi, a coquettish grass wench who manages to melt his cold-blooded heart. Together Bob and Randi embark on a “grassroots” movement to prove to the rest of the tortoises that humans are turtles too.

Turtle Recall… it’s The Notebook meets Yertle the Turtle. You have twenty-four hours to make an offer. Clock’s a-tickin’.

I was laughing by line one. An erotic fantasy about turtles. Wow...just wow. I love it.

And tied for third place, three more awful queries for your reading pleasure...

My Dearest Literary Agent;


Imagine you. You are alone. You are cold. Your skin prickles into fine raised bumps across your entire body, each hair sensitive to the blowing breeze. A tremor runs through your body, traveling from the ends of your finely combed champagne locks to the very delicate diamonds settled on the rose that adorns the manicured nails on your chilled, slowly blueing toes. HARK. A SOUND. Your head audibly snaps to the right as the world shifts around you, settling the viewer’s mental imagine into a scene of you, sitting in a dark corner and alone.

The corner is dark. And you are truly alone.

Your HEART SINGS OUT TO YOU. You feel it ripping through your body and all sense of conscience is LOST. There is no hope, for you are alone. And you are cold.

OH YONDER ELEGANT STEPS OF GOLD is the story about a football player who has succeeded in everything he’s ever done, including school and romantic interests. Then one day, it suddenly gets cold. And we realize that the all-american boy who played ball is actually a girl who never really liked football in the first place. She just enjoyed how warm it was in the uniforms.

And without her uniform, she is alone.

And cold.

I look forward to your immediate response and understand that since this book is a high-grade work of literary fiction, akin to those written by Hemingway and Fitzgerald, I should expect a multi-book deal.

I love "head audibly snaps." That's quite cringeworthy! I also love that this query makes absolutely no sense.

Hey Hottie,

Do you want to make a million bucks? Of course you do! And I have the perfect book to do it. This idea is so great, that I can’t even tell it to you or anybody else. If I did, somebody would steal it. But I can tell you this much, it’s going to be a bestseller, maybe better than Harry Potter. And if you get in on it now, you can ride the money train all the way to the bank!

If you send me a really great advance and a contract, I will tell you the whole thing. But here’s what I can tell you now, to get your imagination started… UNICORNS ON SPACESHIPS! I don’t know if that will be the exact title, but, awesome, right? It’s going to be an edgy, adult, science fantasy romance mystery series– probably ten books or more. I’ve written the first two chapters and my close friend and my mother both say it’s the best thing they’ve ever read… and they read a LOT of books!

Another thing I can tell you: I’m doing some experimental, literary work with it. I think the best way to really bring the reader into the story is through the under-utilized second person point of view. But that’s not all, it’s future tense! I know, right?! It’s like a fortune teller is revealing the reader’s future… in space… as a unicorn! It’ll probably have to be about 160,000 words for the first book. My creative writing teacher says the 5,000 word story I wrote last week could easily be a novel. And this idea is about 32 times better than that one. I already mapped the galaxy on graph paper and outlined the whole history of the special race of unicorns.

I’ll need you to make me a website and send me to book signings all over the world, first class, of course. But I’m sure you can see those dollar signs racking up as you read this, right? Get back to me in one week with your best offer and if it’s higher than the other offers I get from the one-hundred fifty-six top agents and publishers I’m sending this to today, your future will be golden! (See how awesome that second person future is?)

Make my day,
J. K. Wymore

P.S. Did I mention the main character’s name is Detective Graftrass? I’m enclosing a sketch I did of her.

Tell the truth James, this query is real isn't it? You really sent this out. If so, I have some great unicorn spaceship ideas and I'd be happy to collaborate with you on a sequel, IF you send me a million dollars first.

And finally, from Aria Glazki-

Dear Agent:

Have you been slogging through the slush in hopes of finding the next international bestseller? Well look no further! I guarantee you, agent, that in my fiction novel, you will see a future of skyrocketing sales and awards rivaling today's big names and sure to shoot your career to the next level. One of your current clients, who has asked to remain anonymous for now, agrees that you MUST read this book!

So what do you say, agent? Are you ready to leap into the future of publishing with this one-of-a-kind manuscript? I urge you not to miss out on the chance of a lifetime! But I do not fear, for I know YOU are the unique agent SMART enough not to pass up this golden opportunity.

You may be waiting for some more details before signing on, and I trust you, agent, so I will share some pieces of this absolutely unique work with you.

Told in seven perspectives, this revolutionary manuscript details the challenges and triumphs of vampires, werewolves, and angels, all battling each other in Los Angeles. (This story would also make a great movie!) With star-crossed lovers, brutal battles, and so much more, this fiction novel is one any audience will love! Though I have no formal background in writing, this manuscript has been expertly written and needs no modification before publication — it’s ready for the world NOW.

Worry not, I do also have several self-published books, just waiting to be discovered by the masses. And I feel in my heart (and those who have read it agree!) that this manuscript will propel all of my works to the top of every bestseller list, worldwide. So don’t miss out!

I know by now you are ready and excited as I am to negotiate your fee and sign a contract, after which I will gladly send you my 164,000-word manuscript.

Looking forward to your forthcoming call,

The Most Awesome Author You'll Ever Know
I love that you said very little about what the book was about...and what you did say was completely insane.

And, here are some honorable mentions. Thank you Jenna, Ashley, & Elsie for these nominations:

Most Intriguing Plot - Elsie Elmore
Most Enjoyable Repetition - Meli at Oh My Word!
Best Worst Mixed bag of Genres - Jenna at Fans of Fiction
Best Worst Name for Villain - Goldiwort by Dan Koboldt
Best Worst Plot Twist - Meli at Oh My Word!

This was SO fun!!! Thank you all for participating. I'm thinking maybe we should try bad Twitter pitches next, although I don't know if anyone can beat turtle erotica.

If you'd like to join me for another blogfest this week, check out the Author Support Blog Hop.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Taming the Country Star by Margo Bond Collins


He'll do anything to win her heart. She'll do anything to keep him away.

Country star Cole Grayson is in town, and Kylie Andrews is less than thrilled. As if months of changing the radio station and tearing down his posters weren’t bad enough, now she has to deal with a town of fans swarming toward the man who deceived her the year before. But when Kylie’s eyes meet Cole’s again, she can’t deny the electric chemistry that drew her to him the first time around.   Cole Grayson is on a mission. Ever since Kylie left him, he hasn’t been able to forget her sweet country smile. After writing a song just for her, he sets off for her hometown to prove he’s not the player she thinks he is. But as much as Cole can’t forget her, Kylie wonders if she can forgive him…  



Kylie Andrews’s Texas-themed gift shop, Cowbelles, sat on the very outer edge of Fort Worth’s Stockyards District, not far from Jimmy’s Honky Tonk. And much to her dismay, no matter how often she cleared it, the wall adjacent to her store remained covered with announcements for local events. Like, for example, concerts.

She stared at the latest layer of advertisements.

From the topmost poster, Cole Grayson stared out at her, leaning against the edge of an old barn door, guitar at his feet. One booted foot was kicked up against the wooden wall behind him. His dark-blond hair curled around behind one ear and fell down across his eye on the other side. A cowboy hat rested on the ground next to the guitar. Her hand drifted up toward the image, hovering several inches from the picture of his face. She glanced around. None of the other shopkeepers were outside.

No one was watching. “Bastard,” she whispered to herself, and ripped the poster off the wall. At least, she tried to. It was thicker than she had expected, attached more firmly, and it resisted her pull. Chewing on her lip, she took another look around, dropped her bag to the ground, and reached up to grasp the edge with both fists, jerking at it in opposite directions. A tiny tear opened up along the side, and she yanked harder. Finally, the poster ripped—right across Cole Grayson’s lying eyes.

She tugged at the image some more, glancing around surreptitiously every few moments and dropping ragged pieces of paper on the ground at her feet, until there was nothing left on the wall but a few fluttering strips. Gathering the mutilated shreds together, she opened her bag and shoved them inside until they overflowed, bright ribbons of color in the morning light.

About the Author

Margo Bond Collins is the author of contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and paranormal mysteries. She has published a number of novels, including Taming the Country Star, Legally Undead, Waking Up Dead, and Fairy, Texas. She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. Although writing fiction is her first love, she also teaches college-level English courses online. She enjoys reading romance and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about heroes, monsters, cowboys, and villains, and the strong women who love them. She currently writes for Entangled’s Red-Hot Bliss line.  

Connect with Margo

Twitter:  @MargoBondCollin
Goodreads Author Page:

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Who is the foulest of them all? Vote for the #bestbadquery!

It's time to vote! As a reminder, the person with the most votes will win a $25 Amazon gift card, and the joy of knowing they are the worst of the worst.

Here are your choices:

(I participated for fun, but you can't vote for me. :) )

Vote for up to three entries! If you enter late, I can still add you to the poll, just give me a head's up in comments. Here is the original post with rules.

I would also love to give out some honorable mentions! If you think of any special mentions you'd like to give like, "Worst spelling and punctuation," or "Purplest Prose," please put these in comments.

I'll announce the winners in one week.

Who did it WORST
Oh, My Word!
James Wymore
Clare Dugmore Writes
Coffee Books & Art
Elsie Elmore (WR)
Gina Denny
The Daddy Handbook
From The Desk of Laura Stephenson
Author Jen Estes
Writer of Wrongs
Adrianne James
Writing Like Crazy
Aria Glazki
Dan Koboldt
I Love U 4 Ur Brains
Fans of Fiction
Poll Maker