Monday, October 21, 2019

Library-thon Winner




Congratulations to DAWN CREAL, who actually checked before the release date that STORMRISE was at the Fairfax County Library in Virginia. Thank you, Dawn! Dawn will receive a signed copy of STORMRISE.

Thank you to everyone who requested STORMRISE at your local libraries. (And it's not too late--your library requests are always greatly appreciated!)





Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Hook the Editor: We Have a Winner!!

And the winner is...

#5 -- PERSEPHONE'S WALTZ

Congratulations! Please email me at facelesswords@gmail.com for submission instructions.

And a huge round of applause for all 5 entrants! It takes courage to throw your work out there, regardless of outcome. Every time we open ourselves to the helpful critique of others, we grow as writers.

Here's to growth! Thank you all for participating.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

The STORMRISE Library-thon

Friends!

One of the most exciting things in recent weeks has been discovering copies of STORMRISE at libraries across the country (yes, I really do spend time researching things like this)--even as many as a dozen copies in a single library system! It's thrilling to know that my book will be in the hands of readers through their local libraries, and I'd like to continue to spread the love.




Wanna join me -- and have a chance to win a hardcover copy of STORMRISE in the process? 

Welcome to the STORMRISE LIBRARY-THON! Here's how it works:

1. Request STORMRISE at your local library (usually this can be done online).*
2. Send a screenshot of your request to me at jillian@jillianboehme.com.
3. FOLLOW ME on Instagram.

That's it! The contest will run until 11:59 CDT on Friday, October 18, and I will announce the winner the following Monday.

*If your library already has a physical copy or audiobook of STORMRISE, you can still enter! Just send me a screenshot of the listing in your library's card catalog. Please note--physical copies or audiobooks only for libraries who already have STORMRISE. 

Thanks for helping STORMRISE spread its wings and fly into your neighborhood!



Wednesday, October 9, 2019

COME SEE ME THIS WEEKEND!

Dear ones! If you're anywhere near Nashville or Knoxville, I'd love to see you.

I mean, this is one of the things I've dreamed of--putting faces to names and voices to words. I truly hope some of you can make one of these events.




1. THE SOUTHERN FESTIVAL OF BOOKS

I'll be on a panel with illustrator James Barry on Saturday, October 12, at 2:00 PM in the Nashville Public Library Teen Studio. My portion of the talk will include a reading from STORMRISE, and there will be Q&A afterward. A signing will take place at 3:00 at the Signing Colonnade.




2. LITUP-KNOXVILLE FESTIVAL

I'm especially excited about this festival because it's been organized by teens. Bring on the teen readers and writers! Here's my schedule:

1:15 PM -- Jillian Boehme Author Talk (including a reading from STORMRISE)
2:15 PM -- Fantasy Panel with 2 other authors
3:00 PM -- Signing

And there you have it! Please (please please) let me know if you're planning to be at one of these events, because I'd love to meet you. (Feel free to email or DM me if you'd rather not post your whereabouts publicly!)

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

HOOK THE EDITOR: Guidelines

Presenting: Our 5 finalists!

Elayne Becker will be reading and commenting on all 5 entries, and will choose her favorite to receive the 10-page critique (winner to be announced next week). In the meantime, you are all invited to offer critique!

Guidelines for Critique on MSFV:
  • Please leave your critique for each entry in the comment box for that entry.
  • Please choose a screen name to sign your comments. The screen name DOES NOT have to be your real name; however, it needs to be an identifiable name.  ("Anonymous" is not a name.)
  • Critiques should be honest but kind, helpful but sensitive.
  • Critiques that attack the writer or are couched in unkind words will be deleted.*
  • Cheerleading IS NOT THE SAME as critiquing.  Please don't cheerlead.
  • Having said that, it is perfectly acceptable to say positive things about an entry that you feel is strong.  To make these positive comments more helpful, say why it's a strong entry.
  • ENTRANTS: As your way of "giving back", please critique at least 2 of the other entries.

*I can't possibly read every comment.  If you ever see a comment that is truly snarky, please email me.  I count on your help.

Enjoy!


Hook the Editor #5: PERSEPHONE'S WALTZ (Fantasy)

Title: Persephone's Waltz
Genre: Adult Fantasy

Holy Maiden Ysabel has four months left to live. Then she stops the assassination of Dark Lord Kaine, a trans man leading a rebel army. In gratitude, he rescues her from becoming a human sacrifice—by kidnapping her. Hades X Persephone meets the humor of Terry Pratchett and the world-building of N.K. Jemisin.

I have four months, three weeks, and two days left to live. Yet here I sit, wasting a precious hour in a meeting with the Council of Cardinals. I need a smoke or a stiff drink. Not both; I learned from bitter experience on my knees in the outhouse that redleaf and alcohol do not mix.

While my eyelids droop, Cardinal Rakir finishes, “…As the maid said to the bishop.” All four cardinals laugh.

“What did you think, Holy Ysabel?” Rakir smirks.

I widen my eyes. “Oh, it was dreadfully entertaining, but I fear the Sun God has not blessed me with a wit equal to you gentlemen. Why did the bishop tie up the maid? Did she do something wrong?”

Rakir laughs even harder. I keep a vapid smile on my face. Just tied hands and a blindfold? At least take advantage of the increased reactiveness from sensory deprivation with a bit of hot wax and ice. Amateurs.

When I first dug up a dusty document proving that as a Holy Healer, I was entitled to join the council, the cardinals found the presence of a woman made it awkward for them to brag about their conquests during worktime. So I pretended to be too virginal to understand sexual innuendo if it mugged me in a dark alley. I’m still being excluded from the wheeling-and-dealing in their drinking sessions, but they don’t “forget” to tell me when to show up at the Cardinal’s Chamber to cast my vote.

Hook the Editor #4: WISH I WAS HERE (YA SF Mystery)

TITLE: WISH I WAS HERE
GENRE: YA SF Mystery

When Ana’s best friend Isaac hands her an invisibility pill he made, she swallows it to avoid being kidnapped along with him. Fighting her guilt, she must rescue Isaac before he’s forced to create another pill for the highest evil bidder. If she doesn’t follow clues he left behind and find him for the antidote within a week, she’ll remain invisible forever. That could mean insanity or death.

Isaac’s street was a ghost town when I pulled up to his house after school. As I used his spare key to let myself in, the knot in my stomach tied double.

“Is that you, Ana?” he called from the basement as soon as I stepped inside.

Since I knew his parents wouldn’t be home for an hour, I said, “Who else would it be?”

“Did you lock the—?”

“I’m locking it now,” I said with an exasperated sigh. Paranoid much?

I tramped downstairs. “I can’t believe you ditched last period. That was so unli…” My foot hung for a moment halfway to the next step. A suitcase stood next to the fire extinguisher at the bottom of the stairs. A white t-shirt poked out between the case’s zippered teeth.

“You going somewhere?” Without me? “Spring break is next week. Couldn’t your parents have waited a couple more days?”

“My parents aren’t going,” he said as I reached the bottom step. Another suitcase, this one filled with worn spiral notebooks, lay open on a wooden table in the middle of the room. Isaac’s tools, gadgets, gears, and metal parts from clocks, maybe, or engines, or who knows what, were shoved off to the side instead of taking their usual place at center stage.

“I guess traveling on your own is technically legal now and all.” I waited for him to say something. He didn’t. For a flickering moment I thought the bullies at school were finally getting to him.

Hook the Editor #3: HOVERBOARD SUPERHEROES (MG SF)

TITLE: Hoverboard Superheroes
GENRE: MG Science Fiction

Twelve year old Leonie Fox can make anything except friends. Her repair business doesn’t impress the other kids on her starship, but at least Leonie has her grandmother. Then Magda goes missing. Frighteningly alone, Leonie recruits allies—not friends—and starts hunting. But more people disappear, and social services are on Leonie’s tail. To save Magda and stop a deadly conspiracy, Leonie needs more than a trio of bickering boys at her side. She needs a family.

2092, aboard the starship Hydra

Leonie pressed her shoulders to the bulkhead, catching her breath as her eyes adjusted to the amber lights. She should be safe here. Any haters out for her blood would have a hard time finding her in the salvage bay, where towering shadows hid her navy coveralls and deep brown skin.

The oily tang of scrap metal filled her nose. She bypassed wire heaps and scaled a long ladder to a top shelf, where tracks for retrieval units ran like veins across the ceiling. Saturday afternoons were her salvage diving days, but avoiding the enemies she’d made this past year was putting a serious damper on her fun. Why, why couldn’t she leave other people’s bullies alone?

Leonie wrapped her hands around a ceiling joist and swung to perch atop some baskets, searching for parts for her refurbished equipment business. Far below, a salvage keeper’s lantern flashed across the scaffolding. Her heart skipped. Forcing a breath, she reminded herself the keepers wouldn’t stop her. She’d been allowed in here since she turned twelve last February, but years of sneaking into the salvage bays as a curious little kid had left their mark. When the keeper’s light swept to her level, Leonie gave the man a cheeky wave.

The lantern stalled. An older boy’s familiar voice raked her nerve endings. “You.”

That wasn’t a keeper.

Panicked, she leapfrogged across wire frame baskets full of obsolete consoles. The baskets wobbled on the aluminum-plate shelf, and she grabbed joists overhead to steady herself.

Hook the Editor #2: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD (YA SF)

TITLE: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD
GENRE: YA SF

Seventeen-year-old Derek has two goals in life: play major league baseball and marry his best friend, Corinne. When a spacetime glitch pulls his future kids into the present, he learns he didn’t marry Corinne, but his shrewd STEM rival, Michelle. Now forced to partner with a girl he hates, Derek slowly grows attached to his imperfect family, prompting him to choose between the life he envisioned and the life he never saw coming.

April 2009

Astoria, Oregon

Derek grips the glossy neck of his Louisville Slugger, feeling out the warm evenness of the wood. Feet apart, knees bent, eyes straight ahead, he raises the bat over his shoulder.

He waits.

The pitching machine launches a baseball and Derek swings, the crack of impact thundering through the low-hanging clouds blanketing his coastal town. The ball is a meteor against the grey, destined to land in the Columbia River with a muted splash. Except the practice net catches it first, repelling the ball back to the ground.

Derek raises his bat again.

It’s seven a.m. A spring drizzle coats the backyard, changing dirt into mud, grass into flattened mush. Cold beads form on his skin, rolling down his arm, dripping off his elbow. His soaked T-shirt sticks to the swell of his chest. He’ll need to stop soon. He’s got class in an hour.

But Derek doesn’t care. Because when the seventeen-year-old holds a baseball bat, it feels like he’s holding all the time in the world.

He has his father to thank for that.

From a young age, Mr. Lyttle encouraged him to play. Derek recalls his earliest memory, practicing batting form with a rubber T-ball set.

Chest over your toes promotes a good swing angle, his father would say, adjusting the boy’s stance. Feet apart, knees bent, eyes straight ahead.

Hook the Editor #1: CASTERS (YA Fantasy)

TITLE: Casters
GENRE: YA Fantasy

OCD techie Lissette is used to having magic at her fingertips—there’s an app for that. Her dad made it, and she excels at crafting digital spells. But all magic has a price. When a virus infects that magic technology, she must stop it before it spreads and kills everyone she loves. RENEGADES X THIS MORTAL COIL

Dad had his filthy shoes propped on my spotless coffee table again. Every day, I found him lounging on the couch with his laptop sitting on his knees and his feet crossed, mud dripping from his soles onto the mahogany surface. And every day, I yelled at him for it. At this point, he was probably doing it to annoy me.

I stormed across our studio apartment, rounded the sectional couch, and kicked his legs off the table as an after-work greeting.

He fumbled his laptop, nearly dropping it, as he regained his balance with a scowl. “What the hell? I’m working on something really important.”

I eyed the dozen or so empty beer cans surrounding his seat like Christmas presents around a tree. Important my ass.

“Not as important as cleaning your mess. I’m not helping you this time.” Rolling my shoulders and letting my frustration out in a puff of breath, I glanced down at the laptop as he set it aside. A few different windows were open, one with lines of code, another with the software we’d created to develop casts, but one was an email from—

He threw the screen down—way to be subtle, Dad—but then placed it on the clean side of the coffee table like it was a delicate antique. “Working out the bugs of another cast.”

A cast, huh? I was no stranger to coding casts, or rather, digital ‘spells’, and he’d usually ask for help if that’s all it was.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

WINNERS: HOOK THE EDITOR!

Here are our top 3:

# 3 -- CASTERS (15 YESES)
#16 -- ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD (11 YESES)
#10 -- WISH I WAS HERE (9 YESES)

Congratulations to our winners, and KUDOS to everyone who entered!

IMPORTANT: WINNERS, please email your original pitch and first 250 words to me at facelesswords@gmail.com ASAP. Posts will go live on Tuesday!

ETA:

What was I thinking?! I was supposed to choose the top FIVE. (Can you tell I've been out of town for a week?)

Here are the remaining 2 winners:

#18 -- HOVERBOARD SUPERHEROES (8 YESES)
# 5 -- PERSEPHONE'S WALTZ

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Hook the Editor: Guidelines

And here we go! We've got 22 entries ready for your votes. Here's how it works:

1. Read the excerpt. Decide whether the pitch and the opening sentences hook you.
2. If they do, comment YES (all caps, please), followed by the reasons why.
3. If they don't, comment NO (all caps, please), followed by the reasons why.
4. Voting will close this Friday at midnight. The top 5 entries will move on to round 2.

Enjoy! We've got a whole smattering of different genres. Please remember to be kind even as you are being honest.

On your mark...get set...go!

Hook the Editor #22

TITLE: Pane and Silver
GENRE: YA Contemporary Fantasy

Seventeen-year-old piano prodigy Grace Armstrong doesn’t know which came first, her autism-fueled anxiety disorder, or the monsters she’s been hallucinating since kindergarten. When an adorkable guy from an alternate earth invades her bedroom mirror, Grace’s reckless experimentation with newfound magic—and long-lost romance—infects her best friend with fatal magic. Desperate to save her, Grace must escape a magical prison of mirrors, memories, and monsters by embracing an elusive truth—she’s worthy of saving too.

Mr. Lee’s wife put love notes in his piano again—pale-blue slips of paper wedged between every key. Stupid, lovesick newlyweds using the piano like a post office box.

Hook the Editor #21

TITLE: Camila Folds
GENRE: Adult Speculative Fiction

Camila is a single mom who’s been punished by the universe for attending a nerd convention and finally managing to meet a nice guy. She picked the guy who happens to be a teleporting English teacher and a flight home destined to blow up in the desert. Now they must evade his dangerous family and break a lot of rules, including some of physics, to get her back to her son, or die trying.

Camila Maria Vera jumped out of an exploding plane with a man she barely knew. The alternative was death, but Abuela still would not have approved.

Hook the Editor #20

TITLE: A Girl of Ice and Embers
GENRE: YA Historical Fantasy

After accidentally merging with a fire goddess thought to be a demon, an Ice Age girl gains inhuman power but is forced to flee her clan. She finds a new home in another clan but struggles to embrace her power when an enemy clan and a god with powers of rot and decay threaten to enslave her newfound family.

Today was the kind of cold I felt down to my bones. The cave I stood in blocked the wind, but as I surveyed its painted walls, my breath still turned to mist in the air.

Hook the Editor #19

TITLE: THE WOODLANDS HEIR
GENRE: YA Fantasy

When Elwyn's out of control magic accidentally burns down her beloved magical woodlands, an irritatingly hot half-fae agrees to help her control her magic. She only has until the Winter Solstice to harness her power before the Queen of Death challenges her to a duel. The problem? She agreed to spy on the half-fae for a trickster faerie who is protecting her family while she is away.

The woods whispered their secrets to her.
Elwyn Dor loosed a breath as crickets, babbling creeks, and singing birds competed against the thousands of rustling leaves chattering overhead.

Hook the Editor #18

TITLE: Hoverboard Superheroes
GENRE: MG Science Fiction

Twelve year old Leonie Fox can make anything except friends. Her repair business doesn’t impress the other kids on her starship, but at least Leonie has her grandmother. Then Magda goes missing. Frighteningly alone, Leonie recruits allies—not friends—and starts hunting. But more people disappear, and social services are on Leonie’s tail. To save Magda and stop a deadly conspiracy, Leonie needs more than a trio of bickering boys at her side. She needs a family.

Leonie pressed her shoulders to the bulkhead, catching her breath as her eyes adjusted to the amber lights. They'd have trouble finding her in the salvage bay, where shadows hid her coveralls and deep brown skin.

Hook the Editor #17

TITLE: Mourn Their Courage
GENRE: Adult Fantasy

In a land where necromancers are reviled and the dead feared, spirits talk to Liu Jie. Then the Emperor summons Jie to civil war. If he's not killed in battle, his men may kill him. Yet every ghost the usurping Chancellor creates wants to fight the demon-possessed Chancellor. If Jie exorcises the demon, his people will kill him. If he doesn't, he and everyone he's fought to protect will be damned.


Inside the Peach Orchard Inn, Lord Liu Jie expected to be murdered. He appreciated that he had a choice in how it might happen.

Hook the Editor #16

TITLE: All the Time in the World
GENRE: YA Science Fiction

Seventeen-year-old Derek has two goals in life: play major league baseball and marry his best friend, Corinne. When a spacetime glitch pulls his future kids into the present, he learns he didn’t marry Corinne, but his shrewd STEM rival, Michelle. Now forced to partner with a girl he hates, Derek slowly grows attached to his imperfect family, prompting him to choose between the life he envisioned and the life he never saw coming.


Derek grips the neck of his Louisville Slugger, fingers wiggling against the gloss, feeling out the warm evenness of the wood. Feet apart, knees bent, eyes straight ahead, he raises the bat over his shoulder.

Hook the Editor #15

TITLE: TARNISHED RELICS
GENRE: Adult Fantasy

When Attoria's parents mysteriously fall ill she sets out on a journey for a cure. During her travels she uncovers an age old prophecy about a unique soul that will decide the fate of Halgrond. As her name declares, She Who Brings Victory, Attoria knows she will be the one to fulfill the prophecy. But the path of good and evil is not always clearly marked and every victory has a cost.

"Time has done you no favors, witchwoman Gizem," Attoria said.
They were the only two on the road.

Hook the Editor #14

TITLE: Windcaller
GENRE: Adult Fantasy

naShola is a noble entangled by scandals and clashing loyalties, who stumbles across a power that could upend the tyranny of the Plateau. Tlanis is a lowly plains-dweller whose parents dreamed of creating a better world for him — until they were hanged for it. He loathes nobles, naShola most of all. But he finds unexpected hope when a mysterious veiled woman comes to the plains at night, wielding the forbidden craft of the windcallers. 

There was rain once, centuries ago, in the plains south of the Mawtooth mountains. Now there was only dust and rock in every shade of sun-baked brown and rusted red.

Hook the Editor #13

TITLE: The Blue Jay
GENRE: MG Fantasy

When Liz accidentally traps herself and her siblings in her own imaginary world and her sister gets kidnapped by the bad guys she made up, Liz must team up with her annoying teenage brother, Kyle, on a quest to save her sister and find a way home before it’s too late.

The bus lumbered forward like an enormous beetle, its bright yellow sides warning of poison and danger. I smelled its fumes as the engine heaved and sent it hurtling toward the sidewalk where I stood, waiting to climb into its maw.

Hook the Editor #12

TITLE: The City Beautiful
GENRE: YA Gothic Horror

1893, Chicago World’s Fair. Possessed by the dybbuk of a murder victim, 17-year-old Alter must find whoever’s targeting Jewish immigrants before the vengeful spirit takes his body over for good—that is, if the killer doesn’t take his life first.
#Ownvoices LGBT Gothic horror where SAWKILL GIRLS meets THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI.

Anguished sobs echoed down the winding stairwell, bouncing off the walls like the cries of strange birds. Here on Maxwell Street, weeping was as common an occurrence as shouting, wailing babies, and laughter.

Hook the Editor #11

TITLE: Boy On The Corner
GENRE: YA #Ownvoices Horror

1986. When asthmatic Levi and other kids are abducted from a haunted house by the townspeople, he learns every ten years, ten children are picked to be sacrificed to a railroad-dwelling monster as penance for a hate crime committed ninety years ago. Now on the run, Levi must use his Stephen King expertise to fight back with kids from the wrong side of the tracks before the monster collects them as payment.

There was only one thing to do in Roan Oak other than cow tipping—visiting the Rosewood Mall.
I arrived a few minutes early that day, lingering outside of what could’ve been my second home: the arcade.

Hook the Editor #10

TITLE: Wish I Was Here
GENRE: YA light sci-fi mystery

When Ana’s best friend Isaac hands her an invisibility pill he made, she swallows it to avoid being kidnapped along with him. Fighting her guilt, she must rescue Isaac before he’s forced to create another pill for the highest evil bidder. If she doesn’t follow clues he left behind and find him for the antidote within a week, she’ll remain invisible forever. That could mean insanity or death.

Isaac’s street was a ghost town when I pulled up to his house after school. I used his spare key to let myself in, and the knot in my stomach tied double.

Hook the Editor #9

TITLE: Sugar Bea
GENRE: YA Contemporary

For seventeen-year-old Bea, the scale has finally tipped in her favor to become head chef at The Art Haus, a Macon hotspot. But a new flame, seasoned sous chefs, and diabetes all threaten to outweigh her ambition.

This is the sweetest day of my life, but I can’t share it with Momma. She wouldn’t understand, so my secret love affair has to continue a bit longer.

Hook the Editor #8

TITLE: Book of Blood
GENRE: Adult Dark Fantasy

Breaking Bad with magic
In a dying world, secretly supported by blood magic, an ambitious princess marries a prince who forces her into debt. Conflicting forces are battling over power in the city and she is caught in the cross-fires, her household slaughtered. Will she be able to take back control over her life through the discovery of blood magic? 

"There had been much debate over who was going to do the killing. In the end Ikuta volunteered."

Hook the Editor #7

TITLE: Donny Quinn and the Quest for Computer Parts
GENRE: MG Contemporary Humor

Donny says he's a great wizard who can save the world, but only if he can finish his portal. His friend, Sandra, thinks he's just a 12-year-old boy building a computer to play a game, and she's pretty sure the world will survive either way. MG reimagining of DON QUIXOTE, complete w/ windmill.

Exile. I wander down the solid stone path the natives call a sidewalk.

Hook the Editor #6

TITLE: UNREALITY
GENRE: YA Speculative Thriller

STRANGER THINGS x US 17yo Addy has had PTSD since armed men killed her dad three years ago. When she comes home one day and he’s there—alive—Addy hides her traumatic memories and becomes an imposter in what seems to be a better version of reality. But now her mirror-reflection has come to life—with plans of her own—and if Addy doesn’t uncover the truth about her town’s secret experiments, she could lose Dad in both lives.

The fear was back.
It pulsed like fever behind the overworked eyes of the students shuffling by in a study-induced stupor.

Hook the Editor #5

TITLE: Persephone's Waltz
GENRE: Adult Fantasy

Holy Maiden Ysabel has four months left to live. Then she stops the assassination of Dark Lord Kaine, a trans man leading a rebel army. In gratitude, he rescues her from becoming a human sacrifice—by kidnapping her. Hades X Persephone meets the humor of Terry Pratchett and the world-building of N.K. Jemisin.

I have four months, three weeks, and two days left to live. Yet here I sit, wasting a precious hour attending the Council of Cardinals.

Hook the Editor #4

TITLE: Skyline
GENRE: YA Contemporary

After they drifted apart and decided to move on from the past, four teenagers reunite to help their depressed classmate, and ex-friend, Josh. When grudges, crushes, and complicated feelings for Josh get in the way of success, they have to confront their own struggles and come to grips with their shared past--before Josh ends everything for good. SKYLINE is a 100K word novel with multiple perspectives.

It was the greatest torture method ever devised by humanity, a practice so cruel and vicious it would break even the strongest hearts, an invention which put the circles of hell to shame.
Ballroom dancing lessons.

Hook the Editor #3

TITLE: Casters
GENRE: YA Fantasy

OCD techie Lissette is used to having magic at her fingertips—there’s an app for that. Her dad made it, and she excels at crafting digital spells. But all magic has a price. When a virus infects that magic technology, she must stop it before it spreads and kills everyone she loves. RENEGADES X THIS MORTAL COIL

Dad had his filthy shoes propped on my spotless coffee table again. Every day, I found him lounging on the couch with his laptop sitting on his knees and his feet crossed, mud dripping from his soles onto the mahogany surface.

Hook the Editor #2

TITLE: Only Ever Friends
GENRE: Adult Romance

When Amie gets dumped just weeks before her wedding, she does what any rational, 22-year-old law student would do: pawns the ring and eats her weight in Ben and Jerry's. Returning to her childhood home to put the shards of her life back together, the last thing she wants is another relationship… especially with her former best friend, Jason.

Whoever said that money can't buy love was never given a diamond ring from Tiffany's.
Not that I needed it—I'd have been happy with a fifty-cent vending machine knock-off if Derek gave it to me on one knee and asked me to marry him.

Hook the Editor #1

TITLE: CARVED
GENRE: Adult Science fiction

Crim the Carved steps into the Spector ready for a fight to the death, but when an attack goes horribly awry, she ends up in a battle to save everyone’s lives. She teams up with a mortal enemy who was happier trying to kill her, and the two must free all the trapped spectators. If they don’t, a death in the Spector would have been merciful compared to one designed by the Carver.

Crim saw things no one else could, but each line of sight cost her a world of pain. Sticky trails burned down her cheeks as she pressed her face closer to the panoramic panes of the top floor bedroom.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Win a Copy of STORMRISE

A long-time member of this blog community, PB Pabst, is giving away a copy of STORMRISE on her blog. (She has also written lovely things about me that are indicative of her warm and generous heart, and I am a bit undone. But definitely head over there to enter the giveaway!)


(Huge thanks to everyone who has purchased STORMRISE or requested it for your library. It's been a great launch week so far! Here are LINKS TO PURCHASE.)

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Release Day for STORMRISE


Dear ones --

Today's the day. Through all the ups and downs, twists and turns, disappointments and surprises, you've been here, cheering me on. I've thanked you dozens of times, and I'm thanking you once more.

YOUR SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT HAS MEANT SO MUCH THROUGH THE YEARS.

And now here we are! Stormrise is officially out there, and I find myself sitting here thinking, wow. Did these many years actually pass? Is that elusive, disappearing-around-each-bend dream finally mine to hold?

Yes and yes.

Spotted at Barnes and Noble in Manhattan

Today my Twitter and Instagram and Facebook notifications are small explosions. Thank you for your words of congratulations, for spreading the word, for ordering a copy of Stormrise. I'm humbled and blessed and honestly, this is just so big.

Here is a UNIVERSAL LINK to all the places you can order Stormrise. (Remember that it's always wonderful to order from your favorite local bookstore, too. And requesting Stormrise at your library is also greatly appreciated!)


I've got an event at Barnes and Noble tonight, and there will be cupcakes. Between now and then, I'm planning on...well, not doing much. Soaking it in, maybe having a little nap. Because this is the ONLY DAY OF MY LIFE on which I'll be celebrating the release of my debut novel.

Thank you all for being a part of it!


Tuesday, September 17, 2019

HOOK THE EDITOR: Submission Guidelines


Here we go, everyone--submission guidelines for HOOK THE EDITOR (please note: this is not the call for submissions, which will take place on September 24):

1. All genres of fiction are welcome, except erotica or erotic romance.
2. Submit a (maximum-75-word) pitch and your first TWO SENTENCES.
3. Go HERE to submit.
4. Submission window: Tuesday, September 24, from noon to 7:00 pm EDT.
5. This will be a LOTTERY. At the close of submissions, the bot will randomly choose 50 entries.
6. The winning entries will post on the blog on Tuesday, October 1 for voting.

OVERVIEW OF THE ROUNDS:

1. ROUND ONE: Readers will vote YES or NO on the 50 pitches that post on October 1. The 5 entries with the most YES votes will go on to the next round.

2. ROUND TWO: The 5 winning entries will be invited to submit their first 250 words, along with their original pitches. Readers will critique, and Elayne will read, leave comments, and then choose her favorite.


THE WINNER will receive a free 10-page edit from Elayne!

Monday, September 16, 2019

HOOK THE EDITOR: Introducing ELAYNE BECKER

Tomorrow the submission guidelines for HOOK THE EDITOR will post. Today, however, is reserved for helping you get to know Elayne Becker a little better!

Elayne Becker, freelance editor

JILL: I'd be lying if I said my heart didn't break when I learned you were leaving Tor Teen. What led you to this decision, and what is your next adventure?

ELAYNE: It's a bittersweet departure! A few things factored into my decision to leave, but what I will say is this: working in the publishing industry, while being rewarding in so many ways, is also tough. I love so much of the editor job, but unfortunately, it's also a recipe for burnout, particularly for employees working their way up from the entry level onward. Personally, I reached a point where that burnout became difficult to bounce back from.

I think that when you're waking up most days feeling uninspired by the day ahead, you have to start considering the possibility of change. (If change is within your means.) For me, I decided that meant pursuing a master's degree in Scotland, and potentially exploring work in other fields I'm passionate about, such as environmental conservation and women's advocacy. I doubt this is a forever farewell to the publishing industry from me-there are too many aspects of it that I enjoy to do that!-but I am looking forward to stepping away for a bit and seeing what else is out there.


JILL: It's exciting to know that you're going to be offering freelance editing! Tell us more.

ELAYNE: Yes! Working with manuscripts has always been very fulfilling-and fun!-for me; I truly love watching a story evolve from its earliest stages to the final, and helping writers achieve their visions. To that end, I offer editorial feedback on both the conceptual and line levels, as well as query and synopsis critiques. Fuller details are on my website.

JILL: Folks who know you as an editor might not realize that you're also a writer. What do you write?

ELAYNE: Fantasy will always be my first love, so that's the genre I'm writing at the moment. These days, I aim for a tone that's pretty, dark, and romantic, with a nature-forward aesthetic and a bit of a classic feel. One day, I hope to explore other genres as well! I'm a big history nerd, so I'd love to incorporate that into my writing at some point. Or maybe even some nonfiction-who knows.


JILL: You're living life on both sides of the desk. What is it that you love about editing? About writing? In what ways do these two pursuits complement each other? Conflict?

ELAYNE: The heart of the answers is the same for both-I love storytelling! I love new worlds and characters I get to know inside and out. Editing allows me to exercise the detail-oriented, critical thinking part of my brain in a fun way, as I examine all of the story's pieces and help the writer assemble them in a way that maximizes the story's potential. It's a ton of work, true, but engaging work, like trying to solve a puzzle. Writing, on the other hand, provides an outlet for my creative side, an avenue through which I can give voice to the words and scenes playing out in my mind. It's also a great way for me to process emotions or life events.

The two roles definitely inform one another. Editing has expanded my understanding of the craft, which in turn has improved my writing. Likewise, writing enables me to empathize more with writers and better understand how they might have approached different aspects of the manuscript. In terms of conflicts, confidence is a big differentiating factor between the two. Every editor has had doubts at some point in their career, but for the most part, I'm confident in my ability to critique a manuscript and offer valuable feedback. With writing, I still struggle with imposter syndrome often. I can recognize talent in other writers very quickly, but I have trouble recognizing skill in my own writing, even if other professionals assure me it's there. I think this is likely because writing is more personal, and reflective of our creative selves, whereas editing is a more detached endeavor at its core.


JILL: From the moment we began working on Stormrise together, I was amazed by your ability to reach deep inside a story and ask all the right questions in order to home in on the strongest trajectory. Are you able to set this amazing gift aside when you read for pleasure? What are your favorite (non-client) books of all time?

ELAYNE: Aw, thank you Jill! Admittedly, my editor brain tends to interfere when I'm reading for fun more often than I would like. I find myself constantly taking note of which aspects are well-done and how I would have edited weaker aspects differently. I do think there's a lot of value in reading actively (spoilers for my next answer!), but in my case, it can be frustrating at times. I'm working on ways to shut this off just a bit, so that sometimes I can read critically, and other times I can simply enjoy the read.

My favorite non-client books! I will try to limit myself to a handful, because leaving it at one is impossible. Juliet Marillier is a goddess of prose, and I'm currently working my way through her bibliography, but I know Daughter of the Forest will always be my favorite. I don't even have the words to describe all my feelings on that book. Likewise, I will buy anything Ruta Sepetys writes in an instant; her books are beautiful. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings makes the cut as well, of course, as does Shannon Hale's The Goose Girl. Also a special shoutout to Swati Teerdhala's The Tiger at Midnight and Madeline Miller's Circe, which are two of my favorite books that I've read this year.


JILL: What are your words of wisdom for aspiring authors?

ELAYNE: Read actively, particularly in the genre you want to write. Think about what an author is doing that you find really effective, and what you find confusing or disappointing. Once you do this enough, you can use it as a tool to shape your own writing.

Share your work with beta readers or critique partners, and open yourself to their feedback. A lot of the time as writers, we're too close to our work to really see it properly. It's a great thing when you learn that feedback is meant to help you, not hurt you.

Finally: write, write, write, because you really do improve the more you do. Trust me. (And the reams of stories from my youth that will never see the light of day.)

--

Huge thanks to Elayne for this interview, and for participating in HOOK THE EDITOR! If you need more information, GO HERE. Remember, official submission guidelines will post tomorrow (September 17). Any questions that aren't answered there? Ask below in the comments!

Friday, September 13, 2019

Friday Fricassee (a.k.a. Best Party Ever)

You've watched me walk my journey from "aspiring author" to "published author" -- a few stalwart of you have actually been here for more than a decade, from the humble beginnings of this blog. I've expressed my gratefulness time and again, and today I simply want to share with you the magic of my long-awaited book release party.

Mind you, the hiccup of Tor Teen pushing back my release date by two weeks brought me to tears, mostly because of the party, which I planned almost a year in advance. We had the venue, the menu, the deluge of RSVPs. How could I possibly move my party?

But I didn't have to (and it would have been silly to try). On Tuesday, September 10 (which also happened to be my dad's 86th birthday), I gathered with family and friends at one of my favorite writing haunts -- The Frothy Monkey in Franklin, TN -- and we celebrated Stormrise and the spirit of never giving up. I don't think I've ever felt so loved and supported in my life (and that's saying a lot, because I have often felt very loved and supported).

And, so, without further ado:

The Release Party (in pictures)




The venue is a wonderful old-house-converted-into-coffee-shop, and I've always loved the vibe. The amazing staff set up this space for my reading. On the mantle, you can see the gorgeous poster that Tor Teen sent to help celebrate my release!


The Parnassus Books rep arrived -- with books! 4 boxes of Stormrise, which my beloved husband Eric was more than happy to help carry upstairs.


The moment I first saw the finished copies. No further explanation needed. :)


Okay, I was a little excited. More than a little.


All the beautiful books! 


The poster was such an unexpected gift. I love it more than words can say. I love that sweet girl on my right, too--she's my youngest.


All five of my offspring were there, including Maggie (far right), who flew in from Denver. (Maggie is also a writer, represented by Danielle Burby--so we are agent sisters as well as mother and daughter!). I love these humans with every inch of me; they bring me so much joy.


There were so many dear, dear people there, and there's no way I could showcase everyone. This guy, though, deserves a special shout-out. Sean and I have known each other since high school, when we did theatre together. He flew in from Pennsylvania just to be at the party, and his enthusiasm (and love for me!) was like a thousand fireworks.


(I had to add this, to show you how far back we go. We had the leads in Carnival in 1982.)


The love of my life. Eric and I have been married for 31 years. He's watched me -- and stood by me -- from the beginning of my long journey. It means so much when he says, "I'm proud of you." (And by the way--do you see the AMAZING STORMRISE PENDANT around my neck? You still have time to preorder Stormrise and be entered in a drawing to win one just like it!)


Deviled eggs, smoked salmon on toast points, chicken salad bites, a huge antipasto platter, and tiny cupcakes. Divine!


When it was time for the reading, my amazing and beautiful sister introduced me. For as much as she hates microphones, she's an absolute natural at working the crowd. (Also she spent hours shopping online to find me the perfect dress for this party--and then she bought it for me. Because that's who she is.)


Eric wrote a soundtrack for the excerpt of Stormrise I read. Marriage isn't a perfect science, but at times like this, I really feel like we're the dream team. :)


More than one person commented that I didn't seem nervous. I wasn't. Must be that theatre background.


This photo right here? It's my favorite. Know why? Look at my husband's face. He's looking at me with that expression! Am I blessed or what?


A portion of the crowd. People from so many seasons of my life were there--from my friend Sean, who has known me from high school, to members of the Nashville Symphony Chorus, to people I sang with decades ago, to current neighbors, to ballet-mom friends I've made over the years, to gals who were in my ballet classes, to a dear friend I've known online for a long time but had never met in person (she, like Sean, flew in to be there!), to my sister who has known me her whole life. It was...incredible.



And here it is -- me, living my dream. You know how sometimes (most times) it's hard to smile for pictures because it feels so forced? Nope. My face sort of smiled on its own all night...a natural response to the rivers of joy welling up from my heart. 


Another favorite. These two have profoundly impacted my life over the past few years. Tucker is the director of the Nashville Symphony Chorus, and his wife Mary directs the Blair Children's Chorus at Vanderbilt University (and also fills in for Tucker sometimes with the NSC). They're incredibly talented, with hearts fiercely motivated by their passion for music education and excellence. After lying dormant for too many years, my musician-self has blossomed and reasserted itself, and I have these two to thank.



This gal has been a whirlwind of enthusiasm and support. Her husband took this picture, and you can tell he's an artist because look at the composition of this photo! (Also, if you peek out the window behind us, you can kind of see people's heads. We rented out the entire upstairs of the venue, and that included their nifty back deck. I, of course, never got a chance to go out there, but I was happy to discover evidence that people did enjoy themselves out there!)


Had to include this one, too. Another super-supportive friend with a big heart (and a big beard). I have seriously never been in a room full of people cheering me on to the degree I experienced on this evening.

It was a glorious evening. I came away grateful, joyful, blown away, and exhausted. Because introvert. But, oh--it couldn't have been more perfect. Truly.

And now you've had a little taste of it. Thank you for joining me. 


(Photo cred: Cathi Cormack, Bill Clifford, Tom Soranno, Angela Pasquini-Clifford, Rachel Boehme, Eric Boehme)





Friday, September 6, 2019

New Contest on the Horizon: HOOK THE EDITOR

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

So it's definitely taken me a while (my apologies!), but I've finally got something for you. 

How'd you like to win a 10-page, in-depth edit from an editor who, until recently, worked for a major publisher? If this makes your writerly fingers tingle, read on!

HOOK THE EDITOR
You may already know that my lovely editor, Elayne Becker, has left Tor Teen. It was heartbreaking to lose her, because she is incredibly talented. The good news for you, though, is that Elayne is now doing freelance editing! And I'm doing my part to get the word out (because she's so very good at what she does).

Hook the Editor will give you a chance to hook first your colleagues, and then, if you're chosen for the final round, Elayne herself. Here's how it will work:

1. ROUND ONE: Submit a pitch and the first two sentences of your (completed, edited) story. A maximum of 50 entries will be chosen.

2. The pitches will post on the blog, and readers will vote YES or NO as to whether they were hooked by your pitch. The 5 entries with the most YES votes will go to the next round.

3. ROUND TWO: The 5 winning entries will be invited to submit their first 250 words, along with their original pitches.

4. The 5 first pages will post on the blog. Readers will critique, and Elayne will read, leave comments, and then choose her favorite.

5. Elayne's choice will win a 10-page edit!

MORE INFO:

*Submission date: Tuesday, September 24 (Stormrise release day! Wooo!)
*The pitches will post on Tuesday, October 1; voting will begin immediately.
*The 5 winning entries will post on Tuesday, October 8; critiquing will begin immediately.

PLEASE NOTE: I will post a CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS on TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, with full submission instructions. Mark your calendars!

Ask your questions below. I'm super excited about this! 

Friday, August 16, 2019

Friday Fricassee



A few days ago, I hit what was truly the first bump along the road to Stormrise's release. My editor emailed me to let me know that my pub date had been pushed out, from September 10 to September 24.

On the surface, it doesn't seem like a big deal--2 measly weeks, right? Except that I have a huge, private release party planned for the 10th. I've had the venue secured for months (literally since last year). To date, I have over 70 guests who've said they'll be there, and 3 of them are flying in from out of state.

In short, it's sort of a big deal. Because when you wait 14 years for your first novel to come out, you want to celebrate big. And apparently, so do your friends and family.

So, yes, I cried. A lot. I was all I'm going to have to move my party date, and that will mess up everything for so many people.

I'm surrounded by wonderful people who love me, though, and in very short order, I was able to see straight. (Many thanks to my sister, my agent, my husband, and my eldest daughter for talking me through it in the heat of the moment!) Of course I don't have to move the party. It may not be my actual release date any more, but it's still going to be a huge celebration.

Tor Teen is being wonderful as well, brainstorming about ways to help make the party meaningful, despite the changed release date. (It's not Tor's fault; it's a manufacturing delay brought on by the current paper shortage.) Like making a Stormrise poster and sending it directly to the venue. And offering bookplates for me to sign, in case we can't have any actual copies on site. 

So it's all good! And I'm as thankful as always. But it was definitely a horse-sized pill to swallow. 

This adds two more weeks to my preorder offer as well. Details HERE. And remember that signed copies are also available for preorder through Parnassus Books! Which I'm super excited about. (Those details are also on my website.)

Oh, the FEELS, though! Isn't it astonishing the way something can slay us in a moment, causing us to lose all perspective? I'm thankful I'm surrounded by an amazing tribe who always has my back.

Happy weekend, everyone--and thanks for continuing, as always, along this journey with me!

Friday, August 9, 2019

STORMRISE Preorder Giveaway!


Lovely tribe of mine! I'm excited to announce this Stormrise preorder offer, which will run from today until September 9 at 11:59 pm CDT.

The details:

Preorder Stormrise to receive a signed bookmark and be entered into a drawing to win this gorgeous, Stormrise-inspired pendant by @T.ArchJewelry.

(Note: US only, and I'm so sorry, but...it is what it is.)

Also!!

You can order a signed copy of Stormrise from Parnassus Books in Nashville! CLICK HERE TO ORDER. And guess what! International orders will be accepted! 



Tammy's choice of a carnelian (which--full disclosure--I'd never heard of before) is absolutely perfect, as well. Carnelian is a semi-precious stone symbolizing motivation, endurance, leadership, and courage. Rain needs all four of these qualities as she embarks upon her adventure in Stormrise!

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. PREORDER STORMRISE FROM ANY BOOKSTORE.

2. EMAIL A COPY OF YOUR RECEIPT TO ME AT JILLIAN@JILLIANBOEHME.COM.

3. IMPORTANT: PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR MAILING ADDRESS IN THE EMAIL!

4. YOU WILL RECEIVE A SIGNED BOOKMARK AND YOUR NAME WILL BE ENTERED INTO A DRAWING TO WIN THE PENDANT. (IF YOU PREORDER A SIGNED COPY FROM PARNASSUS BOOKS, YOUR BOOKMARK WILL BE UNSIGNED AND WILL BE INCLUDED WITH YOUR ORDER. ALL OTHER BOOKMARKS WILL BE SIGNED AND MAILED SEPARATELY.)


BAM * TARGET * INDIEBOUND *