Monday, April 27, 2020

And the winner is . . .

Thank you for everyone that played along with the contest to win Jennifer A. Nielsen's books and my books. The winner of Jennifer A. Nielsen's books was Carson L.! We will contact you to get you your books.

The winner of my books was Ems! Congratulations. I will be contacting you today for your prizes. Thanks to everyone who participated.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Jennifer A. Nielsen Cover Reveal Contest!

Ever since I read THE FALSE PRINCE by Jennifer A. Nielsen, I have been in love with her writing and stories. Her books are clever, timeless, fun, heart-wrenching, and manage to draw in a large span of age groups no matter what genre she writes.

Win a copy

When I found out she had a new book coming out next year, I had to be a part of a contest with her books as a prize!!

EDITED TO ADD: The contest is now over. The winner of Jennifer A. Nielsen's books was Carson L. YAY!! We will contact you. The contest for my books has also ended. The winner was Ems! YAY!! I will contact you today too!


Below is a grid that you will also find on Jennifer’s website. There are 15 squares and 15 questions to answer. To enter the contest, just answer one question correctly. Each corresponding square has a different blog post with a different question (I’m #12 - see below). When the question is answered correctly, Jennifer will unlock that square on her website to reveal the cover and title of her newest book. Even if the square is unlocked, please visit the blog to get an entry point. The contest is open until every square is unlocked and the full cover is revealed. This means if you visit every blog before the cover is revealed, you can get up to 15 entries.

Win a copy


THREE signed books from Jennifer A. Nielsen, INCLUDING the choice of THE CAPTIVE KINGDOM – or – the first ARC of this new historical book when Jennifer gets a copy.

Win a copy
You can win THREE of her books, including this one that hasn't even come out yet!!

Here's the question you need to answer to enter the contest:


During the German occupation of France, which of these issues was the biggest concern for regular French citizens?

a. Getting enough food
b. Protecting the Jewish people
c. The loss of French freedoms
d. Allied bombings

Just post your answer below in the comments and if you get it right, not only will the square be unlocked on her website, but you will get a chance to win 3 of HER BOOKS! If you go to her website, and follow the links to the other 14 questions, you have a chance for 15 entries!

Do it. You won’t be disappointed. 

(Did you totally read that like an infomercial voiceover?!?)

I will draw a name from those that answer correctly below and you can get 3 of MY BOOKS (Remembrandt series) too (signed, sealed, and delivered). If you already have them, you can choose to get the audiobooks of all three of my books or I’ll send all my books to your favorite person. And if that’s not enough to convince you, you’ll also get an ARC of my next book that releases. Did I convince you yet?

Comment your answer below!

Monday, February 24, 2020

How I Got Published

I've had so many people ask about my publishing journey. Sometimes, I forget that I've been published before because I just got a superstar agent last October (Liza Fleissig at Liza Royce Agency). So how does it all work? How did I traditionally publish three books and not have an agent?

I finished writing my first book, Remembrandt, in 2013. Although it took me about a year to write and edit the book. I had a great writing group that read through the whole book and gave me feedback, as well as beta readers. I started querying the book (i.e. sending letters to agents to see if they were interested), and I actually had some interest, including several requests for the full manuscript. But no one offered to represent me. Truth be told, I was only actively searching for an agent for about a month. But I kept writing. I decided that I needed to get some more words under my belt before I started querying again. I wrote another book (a contemporary fantasy that I haven't yet tried to get published) and started a third one. During this time, I'd periodically get a rejection letter from an agent who I had sent to months before.

Then, about a year after I started querying, a got an email from an editor for Walnut Springs Press. They had originally been interested in my story, but because they were a smaller publisher (and my life was crazy busy with a new baby and living in Texas for the summer), I hadn't accepted their offer. Well, a year later, they noticed it hadn't been published and were still interested. Since I loved Remembrandt so much and it had been gathering dust, I pulled it out. I'd already done an overhaul revision of the book, but did another one before I sent it off to Walnut Springs Press.

A few weeks later, I was signing a publishing contract and only a few months later I was approving a book cover and pages. Remembrandt was published in October 2014.

That fall, I wrote most of Van Gogh Gone (Remembrandt #2), during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). It was published by Walnut Springs Press in October 2015. I wrote Memory of Monet (Remembrandt #3) over the next few months and it was published October 2016.

I loved the experience of being published, my book launches, book signings, teaching at conferences, visiting schools, audiobooks. It was a great learning experience. But I wanted more. I wanted an agent who could get me with the big publishing houses.

I started querying a fantasy I wrote in 2016. I'd got a lot of requests for a full manuscript. I even met with two agents, but ultimately, it seemed like I'd broke into young adult fantasy when the market was saturated with it. After sending out about a hundred queries and still having no agent, I decided that I should start writing something else (even though I'd already written over half of the sequel to that book).

I wrote most of a young adult contemporary novel, The Girl with Two Hearts in November of 2018. It's the story of heterotrophic transplant survivor, Grace, who has one last wish before her two hearts give out: get a standing ovation, but when a singing performance sends her to the hospital, Grace has to decide if giving up singing will break her hearts, instead of saving them. I finished the book in February 2019. After only querying about 15 agents and having a lot of interest, I knew this book was something I wanted to fight for no matter what. I revised it a few times, debating at the ending several times, and then started querying even more. By September, I had about 5 full manuscripts sitting with agents. Liza Fleissig made me the first offer. I had 3 offers after that, but I felt strongly that they were the right fit for me.

And that's where I'm at now. We are submitting the novel to publishers in hopes that one will be interested in publishing the book. While I wait, I'm working on finishing two other contemporary YA books. So, my publishing journey isn't over. I feel like it's just beginning.