Thursday, June 27, 2019

Pitch for the Win: WINNERS

First of all, thank you to everyone who entered! Readers, please keep your critiques coming, as these are so helpful regardless of whether or not an entry is chosen by one of our participating authors.

I randomly assigned our 8 authors a number, and they were then able to choose their favorites in the order of their numbers. The exciting part is that, after we had our 8 winners, several of the authors came back and requested to see more! So we actually have more than 8 winners.

Without further ado:

1. ADAM HEINE chose:

#25 Flying Ships and Shadow Sweeps

and also

#6 All the Time in the World
#23 Dragon Girl

2. ERIN BEATY chose:

#12 Truth in the Treetops


#20 The Atonement of Louis Godbout

4.  ROSARIA MUNDA chose:

#21 Temple Beyond the Sea

and also

#9 Orphaned Skies


#4 Deep Summer

6. SARAH AHIERS chose:

#34 Being More Than OCD

7.   ALICE LOWEECEY chose:

#28 The Case of the Cat Crazy Lady

and also

#1 Killer Competition--A Killer Dogz Mystery
#3 Lethal Injection
#29 Jeweled to Death

8. HOLLY BODGER chose:

#30 The Bea Team

and also

#17 Aloha
#36 The Nine Deaths of Mr. Wiggles

And there you have it! I'd also like to point out that a couple of our authors asked for extras that someone else had already requested. All that to say--our entrants did a great job of hooking our authors!

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THE WINNERS: Please email me RIGHT AWAY at, and I will give you submission instructions. Failure to submit your first page in a timely manner may result in your forfeiting the critique.

Congratulations, everyone! And huge thanks to our lovely authors.

(To read more about them all, go HERE.)

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Pitch for the Win -- Critique Guidelines

Here they are-- 38 pitches for a quite diverse group of stories! When you leave your feedback, remember that it's most useful to tell people WHY something isn't working. The pitch should grab our attention and let us know what the conflict is.

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.*
  • ENTRANTS: As your way of "giving back", please critique a minimum of 3 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.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Pitch for the Win #38 - MG Historical

TITLE: The Beatles Fan
GENRE: MG Historical Fiction

THE BEATLES FAN, is a coming of age story, about a Jewish boy living in the 1960’s who learns a family secret. It drives him to search for his brother with a little help from his friends and his love of The Beatles. Gordon Cohen’s running away is fueled by the desire to have a brother to look up to. But also, to know how his father had a son, and just left him.

Pitch for the Win #37 - Fantasy

TITLE: Windcaller
GENRE: Adult Fantasy

A woman of the noble caste acquires illicit powers and takes on a secret identity in order to bring rain to the starving peoples of the Aridlands. She finds herself falling in love with a proud man of the oppressed caste, but revealing her true identity would destroy any hope of her quest succeeding.

Pitch for the Win #36 - YA Humor

TITLE: The Nine Deaths of Mr. Wiggles
GENRE: YA Short Story Humor

Thane is a Grim reaper cursed to faint at the sight of blood – causing him to fail at his job. His partner, Erlik doesn’t help because his dating time with Karma only occurs when Thane faints. The three immortals chase the lives of one cat, Mr. Wiggles.

Pitch for the Win #35 - Memoir

TITLE: Family Matter: A Memoir of the Brain and a Family Rewired
GENRE: Adult Memoir

As the youngest of nine, I used real and inflated illnesses to stand out. But, when unexplained seizures surged through my body, I told no one.

At 22 I was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor. Later, when a stroke destroyed my father’s mind and body, I wondered how I had avoided the same fate. I needed to change too. I would always be the baby, but I didn’t have to act like one.

Pitch for the Win #34 - YA Mystery

TITLE: Being More than OCD
GENRE: YA Mystery

When OCD Jenna attends a film site, she interrupts the director's murder. He picks her to star opposite his gorgeous son in his new film. She must become a dynamite actor before the murderer returns and ruins her and her film debut.

Pitch for the Win #33 - YA Fantasy

GENRE: YA Fantasy

Elwyn’s magic burns down her beloved magical woodlands in the faerieland, Elhaim. An irritatingly handsome half-fae sullenly agrees to help her control the magic and restore the forest. He brings her to his island and she realizes soon after that it wasn’t a coincidence she met him.

Pitch for the Win #32 - YA Fantasy

TITLE: The Seven Strings
GENRE: YA Fantasy

To free her sister from a Traitor’s prison, sixteen-year-old Eva must free herself first—by taking back her soul.

In a brutal experiment, her captors rip her soul out using a sinister black knife.

She learns she must destroy the black knife and get her soul back before she can return to her sister, but she doesn’t know where to look or how to do it, and if she fails, she’ll be lost forever, disappearing into nothingness.

Pitch for the Win #31 - MG Fantasy

TITLE: Hope of Glimmer
GENRE: MG Fantasy

On a quest to rekindle the sun by finding and returning the One SunDrop to the sky, Hope Gander of Glimmer is challenged to test the strength of her own power to dream and her belief in herself, her family, and her friends. Mutated creatures, dead and dying villages, a terrible IceMarsh, leaders determined to maintain their power at all costs, and the wrath of an evil entity are huge obstacles along the way.

Pitch for the Win #30 - YA Contemporary

TITLE: The Bea Team
GENRE: YA Contemporary

Seventeen-year-old Bea serves up Southern fried dishes to win a food truck competition. But falling for a competitor was never on the menu. The stress of the romance and competing stir up Bull, her bulimia voice. Now it’ll take the perfect recipe not only to become the winning chef, but also keep her girlfriend, and defeat Bull.

Pitch for the Win #29 - Cozy Mystery

TITLE: Jeweled to Death
GENRE: Adult Cozy Mystery

When the drunk driver that killed her mother ends up dead, Cassandra and her sisters are the prime suspects.
With the hot Sheriff’s attention focusing on her, Cassie reluctantly agrees to let her former classmate turned handsome lawyer help her. Desperate to clear her family name, Cassie searches for a determined killer that has put her next on his/her to do list.

Pitch for the Win #28 - Cozy Mystery

TITLE: The Case of the Cat Crazy Lady
GENRE: Adult Cozy Mystery (1st of series)

After Buttercup Bend's "Cat Crazy Lady," Maggie Broom, is smothered to death in her home, Cathy Carter is stunned to learn that the animal shelter and pet cemetery she co-owns with her brother Doug is the recipient of the bulk of Maggie's estate. Sheriff Miller is convinced Maggie's estranged brother and sister are guilty of  the murder, but Cathy and her reporter friend, Nancy Meyers, set out to prove him wrong.

Pitch for the Win #27 - Historical Fantasy

TITLE: Mourn Their Courage
GENRE: Adult Historical Fantasy

When a hungry ghost kills Liu Jie's children, he concludes he's an unfit leader. Then he's thrown into a war he can't win against a creature that seeks to consume the empire and cannot be killed.

Set in the Xing empire, where ghosts are guides and heroes are traitors, MOURN THEIR COURAGE is a 100k-word novel based on the same popular Chinese folklore used in Ken Liu's "Grace of Kings."

Pitch for the Win #26 - MG SF

TITLE: Violet Ray and The Magnetic Pole Reversal
GENRE: MG Science Fiction

When invaders capture 11-year old Violet's guardian, Cat Ion, she must use all of her inventions and create a plan to rescue him without exposing her identity as a genetic marvel, at the risk of losing her island home, or even her life.

Pitch for the Win #25 - MG Fantasy (Steampunk)

TITLE: Flying Ships and Shadow Sweeps
GENRE: MG Fantasy (steampunk)

Shumisha is a ship’s chimney sweep. She helps the mates gather shadows to fuel the magical engine driving their flying ship.

When Shumisha realizes that the captain has decided to trap human shadows, she decides to do everything in her power to free them. People without their shadows vanish into thin air. Her family will disappear. The problem is she can’t touch tangible things or talk to people. In fact, she’s a shadow herself.

Pitch for the Win #24 - YA Mystery

TITLE: Wish I Was Here
GENRE: YA Mystery

When Ana’s genius best friend Isaac hands her a pill he made that will turn her invisible, she swallows it to avoid being kidnapped along with him. Now she must rescue him before he’s forced to create another pill for the highest evil bidder. If she doesn’t find him for the antidote within a week, she’ll remain invisible forever.

Pitch for the Win #23 - YA Fantasy

TITLE: Dragon Girl
GENRE: YA Fantasy

Dragons disappeared a long time ago. When they wake from a 150 year hibernation they release magic into a world that has forgotten magic existed. One dragon’s magic pushes him to expose their existence to humans. One girl is ridiculed for believing that dragons are intelligent creatures instead of plague-ridden beasts. Both struggle to control their new magical powers and break free from the bonds of family oppression to save dragons from extinction, again.

Pitch for the Win #22 - Urban Fantasy

TITLE: Wolf Fighter
GENRE: Adult Urban Fantasy

When you read Wolf Fighter, you walk the mean streets of an 88,000-word quest for the elusive HEA with butt-kicking along the way. Think, if Buffy were the B story. Think, Spiderman II with ghosts.
Think, Ghost Whisperer who more than whispers. When Rodney sleeps with a ghost, she comes back to life.  He’s clueless, easily accepting that woman are cold and he’s their IT boy.  Then he meets Marissa.

Pitch for the Win #21 - Fantasy

TITLE: Temple Beyond the Sea
GENRE: Adult Fantasy

Iphi was flown here by Artemis long ago, to serve as a priestess in the temple. She can barely tolerate the thought of human sacrifice, but only enemies of the land will be slain.
Her brother Orestes has avenged a murder in their household, but is driven out by the Furies--momstrous flying creatures.
Sister and brother have never met, but when Orestes is washed up on the shore of the temple, what will happen?

Pitch for the Win #20 - Historical

TITLE: The Atonement of Louis Godbout
GENRE: Adult Historical Fiction

Lower Canada, 1838. The revolt against British rule is in tatters. Louis Godbout, a loner caught in a no-man’s land between French and Cree, is banished to the penal colony of Australia for a rebellion he didn’t believe in. In exile he finds comradeship; in humiliation, dignity. Inspired by the dignity and courage of a Huguenot/Londoner convict woman, he wrestles with the meaning of home, identity and belonging. Based on true events.

Pitch for the Win #19 - MG Contemporary Fantasy

TITLE: Twenty-five Sundays
GENRE: MG Contemporary with Fantastical Elements

Twenty-Five Sundays is about twelve-year-old Ali whose father falls apart after her mother is deployed. As Ali takes responsibility for keeping her dad and her parents’ marriage intact, her memories come to life with a message that she must understand or lose everything she loves most.

Pitch for the Win #18 - Fantasy

TITLE: The Unchosen
GENRE: Adult Fantasy

With her memories gone, all Fia wants to do is survive on Earth when an old lover arrives in town and pulls her away into a world of magic where boats can fly, people can throw fire, and almost everyone wants her dead.

Pitch for the Win #17 - YA Contemporary

TITLE: Aloha
GENRE: YA Contemporary

Look up the word survivor and you’ll find Honor Washington’s photo. She’s survived being raped, two counts of justifiable homicide and the indifference of her hoarding mother. But what might kill her is the dream she’s after, because in order to achieve it, she’s made her town’s worst enemy her new best friend.

Pitch for the Win #16 - Fantasy

TITLE: Persephone's Waltz
GENRE: Adult Fantasy

Holy Maiden Ysabel has four months left to live. When she stops the assassination of Dark Lord Kaine, a trans man leading a rebel army, he takes it upon himself to rescue 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.

Pitch for the Win #15 - MG Contemporary

TITLE: The Legacy Project
GENRE: MG Contemporary

All May wants is to win the sixth grade Legacy Project and use the prize money to buy her dream telescope. But that seems impossible when her subject, the most ordinary man in town, 100-year-old Mr. Bailey, dies after one interview. But when May finds a note in his pocket at the funeral, she discovers that maybe he isn’t so boring after all.

Pitch for the Win #14 - MG Fantasy

TITLE: Thalia, the Magic Book Doctor
GENRE: MG Fantasy

Thalia lives in a café-library that is one of the last centers of storytelling in the universe.
When Thalia realizes that her master, Mister Mugger, steals the storytellers’ muses and traps them inside a binder, she comes to the rescue. The problem is the Frost Queen, the binder’s keeper, who feeds on imagination and reports to Mugger. Without her imagination and with Mugger watching, can Thalia think of a good plan to save the day?

Pitch for the Win #13 - YA Fantasy

GENRE: YA Fantasy

For the first time in years, seventeen-year-old Saekina has friends. If she wants to keep them, the girl she’s falling for, and herself alive, she must do the impossible: unlock memories from her past life in order to go toe-to-toe with a goddess.

Pitch for the Win #12 - YA Contemporary

TITLE: Truth in the Treetops
GENRE: YA Contemporary w/paranormal elements

For Gabby, a dedicated, but sometimes obsessive, cross-country runner, junior year is her time to shine. College recruiters. Scholarships. Besting her impossibly skinny rivals. But eerie encounters in the woods the summer before school starts and CJ, a cute guy with the same quirky taste in music--just might put a wrench in her plans. See, CJ has a secret and it's connected to what's going on in the woods. And to Gabby.

Pitch for the Win #11 - MG Fantasy

TITLE: Kingdom of the Keys: The Initiation
GENRE: MG Fantasy

Contemporary fiction meets fantasy with a wink at quantum mechanics in KINGDOM OF THE KEYS: THE INITIATION as twelve-year-old Adam writes bedtime entries into an ancient journal to keep his realm from self-destructing. Transported by the book to a kingdom of familiar-looking strangers, Adam overcomes formidable obstacles to unlock portals leading to the source of the subatomic force diminishing in his world. But his mother, summer camp, and feelings of abandonment could jeopardize everything.

Pitch for the Win #10 - Paranormal Mystery

GENRE: Adult Paranormal Mystery

Downsized and jilted, Veronica jumps at an offer to housesit and recuperate. But the house is haunted and a friend is framed for murder, so Veronica works to clear him with the help of an annoyingly hot but unavailable man and the ghostly housemates. In-between fighting her feelings, her morals, and the hot guy’s advances, Veronica wrangles unhappy spirits and traverses underground tunnels to find the killer, unaware the killer wants to find her first.

Pitch for the Win #9 - YA SF

GENRE: YA Science Fiction

With the Stingray invasion escalating, fighter pilot Juniper Crew must decide between becoming a Legacy and avenging her past, or defending the people she swore to protect and saving her future

Pitch for the Win #8 - Suspense

GENRE: Adult Suspense

While guilt plagues former NYPD Detective Neil Caldera after a bullet from his weapon kills a young woman, a killer murders a teen girl and paints his likeness in blood at the scene. After she strikes again, police discover evidence in Neil’s home. The killer fuels Neil’s dilemma when she kidnaps his niece. Teamed with his police-sergeant girlfriend, Neil strives to catch the woman, clear his name, and free his guilt-ridden mind.

Pitch for the Win #7 - MG Fantasy

TITLE: The Third Gift
GENRE: MG Fanstasy

Eleven-year-old Marisi gets more than she bargains for when she wishes for adventure instead of babysitting: her parents disappear in a storm and a witch takes over her home. To save herself, her home and her parents, she has to solve three impossible sounding riddles before sunrise. In order to do that she has to figure out how the island’s strange occurrences, and the baby sister she never wanted, are key to defeating the witch.

Pitch for the Win #6 - YA SF

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

Seventeen-year-old Derek has only 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 abrasive, STEM rival, Michelle. Now forced to play house with a girl he hates, Derek slowly grows more attached his imperfect family, prompting him to choose between the life he envisioned and the life he never saw coming.

Pitch for the Win #5 - Fantasy

TITLE: Bear Guard
GENRE: Adult Fantasy

On the vast Northern Border, where the Bear Empire touches the kingdom of spirit beings, five outcast soldiers are thrown together by the machinations of a calculating Empress. But when they stumble upon a plot that stretches across borders and over a decade, they realize they may have a chance to prevent a war that could ravage the continent. Trying to stop it, though, may cost them their friendships, their sanity, and their very lives.

Pitch for the Win #4 YA - Southern Gothic

GENRE: YA Southern Gothic


No one believes the Lady of the Lake, a local spirit, ran Jessup and his brother off a bridge last summer, but divers never recovered the car or his brother’s body. Now lured back by a voice calling from the steamy depths, Jessup’s going to figure out what happened and make the Lady pay.
Inspired by legends of an underwater town hidden beneath Georgia’s Lake Lanier.

Pitch for the Win #3 - Cozy Mystery

TITLE: Lethal Injection
GENRE: Adult Cozy Mystery
A cozy mystery set on a state college commuter campus in Chicago.  Amateur sleuth Hallie Peters, Biology Secretary, investigates when one of her professors is injected with poison after hours in the classroom laboratory.  She discovers that the victim, respected and beloved, had a history of sexual assault and blackmail.  She finds the murderer, uncovers unsavory truths about colleagues, is nearly killed, and befriends the homicide detective on the case.

Pitch for the Win #2 - Historical

TITLE: A Hidden Grave
GENRE: Adult Historical Fiction

In the stark Spanish countryside, two missing graves confront a lonely taciturn man in his fifties and his 13-year-old American great-nephew. When the boy learns his great-grandparents aren’t resting in the local cemetery, he starts asking questions stirring more than the great-uncle’s solitary life and bringing back the night his parents abandoned him. But asking about the past comes with a price in 1976 when fear and distrust from the former military dictatorship is still present.

Pitch for the Win #1 - Cozy Mystery

TITLE: Killer Competition - A Killer Dogz Mystery
GENRE: Adult Cozy Mystery

Lexie and Emma proprietors of Killer Dogz, a gourmet hot dog restaurant, swear their food didn’t kill their competition and the Mayor’s no good brother-in-law.

With most of Fairhaven, Ohio, avoiding their restaurant, Lexie is desperate to save her business. To do that, Lexie will need to fit finding a killer around carpool but if she isn’t careful, she may be the killer’s next victim.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Friday Fricassee

One thing I started training myself to do years ago is not to take negative reviews to heart. Because EVERY AUTHOR OUT THERE IS GETTING NEGATIVE REVIEWS. 

I mean, I checked. One of my favorite authors, for instance, is Mary E. Pearson. How could ANYONE write a 1- or 2-star review for Dance of Thieves? And yet, they did. And they'll do it again for her next book.

Mind you, some of the low-star reviews are just...nasty. And it's easy to discount them, because they're...nasty. Or else they're ridiculous. Like, "This book is about dinosaurs and I really hate dinosaurs." (I made that up. But you know it happens.)

So I'm pretty sure it's a good idea to not read low-star reviews for our own books--not because they're not a normal part of author life, but because we really don't need to see all the reasons why someone hated our book--or didn't finish it. Literature is subjective, like all art. There will always be folks who would rather eat a live squid than read the book we just handed them.

Professional reviews, on the other hand, are a little harder to steer clear from. I've been nervous for weeks, knowing that Kirkus had my book and would eventually post their much-dreaded review. (Kirkus is not known for its kindness, to say the least.) I was relieved beyond measure when I finally read it the other day--and discovered that they didn't hate STORMRISE at all.

Mind you, it's easy enough to pick up on the mild digs if you read the whole review on their web site. But the above quote encapsulates the overall positive tenet, and I'm delighted--and so thankful.

If you follow me on Goodreads (PLEASE ADD STORMRISE TO YOUR TO-READ LIST!), you may notice that I haven't reviewed a single book. That's because the writing community is a small world. Over the years, I have interfaced with, worked with, and forged relationships with countless authors. Some of them write stuff I love, some write stuff I haven't read, and some write stuff I'd probably only give 2 stars to. (Disclaimer: that's almost never true.) I'd rather support ALL THE WRITERS by leaving my opinions largely to myself.

(My silence doesn't mean I didn't enjoy a book, either. It only means that I'm sticking to my own rule of not publicly commenting on most books I've read.)

If I do gush about a book, it's almost always something written by an author I don't have a personal relationship with. (Or at least didn't have at the time I read the book.)  I'll occasionally do a public swoon over a book that particularly grabbed me (like Holly Bodger's 5 to 1, which I admittedly gushed over on this very blog), but overall I choose to remain respectfully silent.

(Most of the time it's a companionable silence. I really do enjoy almost all the books I read!)

All that to say--the words people say about our books matter, but not that much. Of course we want people to fall in love with our characters and stay up reading late into the night. We want to please others with our creative offering, and refusing to admit that isn't doing us any favors. But in the end, we mustn't be fueled by those words of praise, because that will give the words of criticism far too much power to disable us.

Write. Work hard and keep your eye on whatever your personal writing goal is, but don't use the words of others as a litmus test.  If you can get to the point at which you learn that someone hated your book so much that they threw it away, and you merely shrug and say, "Bummer. Guess my book's not for everyone," then you're in a fabulous place. Stay right where you are!

Of course, I'd be remiss not to share the most fabulous blurb I could've dreamed of, a portion of which is on the cover of STORMRISE:

“A bold girl, a kingdom under attack, magic everywhere―I devoured it in one sitting! This book is one wild ride!” ―Tamora Pierce

That Ms. Pierce would take the time to read and blurb a debut novelist's work says more about her than it does about me. I literally fell to my knees after my editor sent me the blurb (I didn't know she'd sent STORMRISE to Tamora Pierce), felled by shock and thankfulness.

Is this amazing, humbling blurb the main source of my affirmation? No. For as wondrous and kind-hearted as it is, it's just one person's opinion of my novel. A positive opinion, couched in superlative terms (Tamora Pierce read my story in one sitting!), to be sure. But in the end, just one more opinion.

The flip side is that, had she hated my book, I wouldn't have heard a word from her. (I wouldn't even have known she'd read it.)

Words have so much power (which is why stories move us). I'd like to continue to use mine to the best of my ability, and I invite you to do the same.

I'm thankful, too, for the beautiful book photos that are starting to show up on social media (shout out to Dorothy Dreyer for the above!). I stare at each one as though I've never seen the cover of STORMRISE before, marveling at how the photographer took the time to arrange everything just so to create a piece of art.

(Disclaimer: I'm not very good at this myself, though I do try.)

I could spend many hours thanking every person who has blessed me along the way. Sometimes I feel like I'm in a perpetual state of overwhelming thankfulness. (Except when I have to cook dinner. Then I turn instantly grumpy.)

A final thank you to all who have preordered STORMRISE, and a reminder to save your receipts for an upcoming preorder giveaway.

Places to preorder: 

Thanks, everyone, for being part of my world! A quick reminder that submissions will open at noon EDT for our PITCH FOR THE WIN contest (details HERE).

Have a glorious weekend!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Pitch for the Win -- OUR AMAZING AUTHORS

Announcing our eight participating authors! Each author will choose a favorite entry; winners will get a public critique of their first pages.

Here they are, in all their glory:


Sarah Ahiers is the author of ASSASSIN’S HEART and THIEF’S CUNNING (HarperTeen, 2016, 2017) Both books were finalists for the Minnesota Book Award, and have received starred and glowing reviews from Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, School Library Journal, and Kirkus. She has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University. Her thesis was a study of monsters and monstrous characters in middle grade and young adult fantasy fiction. Sarah lives in Minnesota with her dogs and a house full of critters. She has a collection of steampunk hats and when she’s not writing she fills her time with good games, good food, good friends, and good family.



Erin Beaty was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, which means she can't drive a tractor, but she won't eat veggies that come from a can. She graduated from the US Naval Academy with a degree in rocket science and somehow always ended up writing her study group's lab reports. After serving in the fleet as a weapons officer and a leadership instructor, it still amazes her when other people want to hear the stories that come out of her head. She is the author of the Traitor's Circle Trilogy (The Traitor's Kiss, The Traitor's Ruin, The Traitor's Kingdom).

She and her husband have five children, two cats, and a vegetable garden and live wherever the navy tells them to go.

Visit her web site at


Nancy Bilyeau is the author of 'The Blue,' a historical thriller set in the 18th century art and porcelain world, praised by Town & Country as a "Best Book of 2019." She has also written the Joanna Stafford trilogy, set in Tudor England, published by Simon & Schuster. Her next novel is 'Dreamland,' taking place in Gilded Age New York City.

For more information, go to

Sales link for The Blue: HERE


A long-time resident of Ottawa, Canada, Holly has been working in STEM publishing. She graduated with an English degree from the University of Ottawa. Her debut novel, 5 TO 1, was released in May 2015 from Knopf Books for Young Readers (Penguin Random House). 




Adam Heine lives in Thailand, where he and his wife raise an enormous family of foster kids who have nowhere to go. He trains these kids to be thinkers, gamers, and supervillains. A few insist on being good at sports and stuff—he tries not to hinder them.

He is also a professional writer, game designer, editor, and all-around word mercenary. He is the author of Izanami’s Choice as well as stories found in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Paizo's Pathfinder Tales, and the Tomorrow's Cthulhu anthology. He was also the design lead for Torment: Tides of Numenera and is writing for other games he can’t tell you about. He desperately tries to pretend he has spare time in which to play video games and catch up on Netflix.

SALES LINKS:   Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Indiebound
Broken Eye Books (direct from publisher)


Baker of brownies and tormenter of characters, Alice Loweecey celebrates the day she jumped the wall with as much enthusiasm as her birthday. She grew up watching Hammer horror films and Scooby-Doo mysteries, which explains a whole lot. When she's not creating trouble for her sleuth Giulia Driscoll or inspiring nightmares as her alter-ego Kate Morgan, she can be found growing vegetables in her garden and water lilies in her koi pond. 

Alice's latest: BETTER THAN NUN 

Kate's latest two: STAKING CINDERELLA 
                            DEMONS FOR TEA


Rosaria grew up in rural North Carolina, where she climbed trees, read Harry Potter fanfiction, and taught herself Latin. She studied political theory at Princeton and lives in Chicago with her husband and cat. Her debut young adult fantasy novel, FIREBORNE, will be released by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in October 2019.


Peter Adam Salomon’s debut novel, HENRY FRANKS, was published by Flux in 2012. His second novel, ALL THOSE BROKEN ANGELS, published by Flux in 2014, was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award® for Superior Achievement in Young Adult fiction. Both novels have been named a ‘Book All Young Georgians Should Read’ by The Georgia Center for The Book.

He founded both National Dark Poetry Day (Oct. 7) and the annual international Horror Poetry Showcase for the Horror Writers Association.

His short fiction has appeared in the Demonic Visions series among other anthologies, and he was the featured author for Gothic Blue Book III: The Graveyard Edition. He was also selected as one of the Gentlemen of Horror for 2014.

His poem ‘Electricity and Language and Me’ appeared on BBC Radio 6 performed by The Radiophonic Workshop. Eldritch Press published his first collection of poetry, PseudoPsalms: Prophets (nominated for the Elgin Award), and his second and third poetry collections, PseudoPsalms: Saints v. Sinners and PseudoPsalms: Sodom (nominated for the Elgin Award), were published by Bizarro Pulp Press. In addition, he was the Editor for the first books of poetry released by the Horror Writers Association: Horror Poetry Showcase Volumes I and II.

He is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, the Horror Writers Association, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, the Science Fiction Poetry Association, the International Thriller Writers, and The Authors Guild.

You still have a few days to work on your 75-word pitch! GO HERE to read the full submission guidelines. Submissions will open at noon EDT this coming Monday.

Monday, June 17, 2019


Hey, lovelies! I've got a new contest for you!

PITCH FOR THE WIN is just what it sounds like--you'll enter a pitch for your (completed) novel to see if it wins the attention of one of our participating published authors.

Here's how it will work:

1. Submissions will be on Monday, June 24, from 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT.
2. To enter, submit the title, genre, and a pitch (75 words or fewer) HERE.
3. All genres will be accepted EXCEPT erotica and erotic romance.
4. The bot will choose 50 entries.
5. Once the entries post (on Wednesday the 26th), our community will begin to critique them. AT THE SAME TIME, our visiting authors will be reading and choosing their favorites.
6. The authors, in NBA lottery draft style, will each get to choose a pitch that grabbed their attention. The winning entrants will be invited to email their first 250 words for critique by the authors who chose them.
7. These critiques will be posted here for all to see (and learn from!).
8. Others may also weigh in on their critique of these winning entries.

I'll be announcing our authors this week, so stay tuned! Please ask your questions below--and spread the word! You've got a week to fine-tune your pitch.

Let the fun begin!