Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Wishing you and your family the very best this holiday season!

Here's to presents under the tree, a feast on the table, and family beside you! May you be blessed with love, health, happiness and lots of books! ;)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

PURGATORY REIGN by LM Preston: Extended Excerpt

For Writer Wednesday, I'm celebrating this week's PURGATORY REIGN blog tour from YA author, LM Preston. Fortunate enough to have read this as a beta reader, I can tell you that it absolutely rocks! Check out the extended excerpt and discover a bit more about the author, LM Preston.

Something evil this way comes, unfortunately for it, 
Peter Saints is waiting.

Seventeen-year-old Peter Saints' life stinks. But things are about to get much worse. First, his parents are murdered in front of him. Then another victim dies in his arms.

Visions plague Peter with warnings that something wants him for a sinister cause. It desires the one thing that Peter refuses to give - 
his blood.

On the run with Angel, a scruffy kid, Peter starts to unravel the mystery. It's the one secret the heavens sought to hide from the world. Unfortunately, when Peter finds the answer he hopes that will save the girl he loves, he opens the door to a great evil that happens to be salivating to meet him.

Title: Purgatory Reign
Series: Purgatory Reign, Book 1
Release: ebook (March 2013) Print (May 2013)
Publisher: Phenomenal One Press
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, SciFi
ISBN: 978-0-9850251-3-7
EBook: 978-0-985-0251-4-4

Extended Excerpt:

Peter took a moment to catch his breath. “I left. I left the grounds. But something’s bad has happened. Sh-she…Hanna died!” He coughed and his eyes watered. “Because of me! My fault. It was my fault. You gotta help her! I always screw up. Always. Please…”

Pastor Finn put his hands on Peter’s shoulders and shook him. “Why’d you leave? I told you never to leave here. You’ll put us all in danger. Yourself in danger. I didn’t save your butt for you to screw this up, boy.” He yanked Peter by the shirt and down the stairs. Then dragged him, practically running, all the way to the cellar stairs where he pointed at the small door where Peter had escaped. “Sixteen years old and you think you are man enough to make it out there?” he grumbled. “This is where you got out?” He sighed. “You don’t understand.”

“It’s my fault! Did you hear me? I killed someone! You gotta help her.” Peter jerked out of his grasp and grabbed Pastor Finn’s shirt, facing off with him. For once in a long while, he stared down the man eye to eye. He straightened up to his full height. The older man’s gray crew cut and piercing blue eyes were filled with fear. Peter’s hand loosened in shock that it was the first time he remembered that Pastor Finn looked afraid.

“I can’t help the dead.” He pushed Peter’s hands away from him. “But I have to help you. Come with me.” Peter watched him, confused. His teeth clenched at Pastor Finn’s betrayal. “I thought you were different. I have to go back. Bury her, like she deserves.” Peter stumbled backwards.

LM Preston
LM. Preston was born and raised in Washington, DC. An avid reader, she loved to create poetry and short-stories as a young girl. With a thirst for knowledge she attended college at Bowie State University, and worked in the IT field as a Techie and Educator for over sixteen years. She started writing science fiction under the encouragement of her husband who was a Sci-Fi buff and her four kids. Her first published novel, Explorer X - Alpha was the beginning of her obsessive desire to write and create stories of young people who overcome unbelievable odds. She loves to write while on the porch watching her kids play or when she is traveling, which is another passion that encouraged her writing.

Author Links

Book Trailer

Book Sample

If you think Purgatory Reign is something you might like to review follow the link to read a sample.  If you enjoy please request a review copy.

Buy Links

Other works by LM Preston

How do you like the extended excerpt of Purgatory Reign? Ready to read more?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pitch Wars: Team Ninja

The day has arrived! 12-12-12 marks the announcement 
of the teams for Pitch Wars! Woot! 
With the final number of 43 pitches in the inbox, let me say that I am both honored and humbled by this experience. It was SO difficult to narrow it down to only three. Every single one of you that pitched is amazing. I hope the feedback helps, and PLEASE do not hesitate to contact me. I will be stalking watching your writing careers and waving the ninja stars in support. Now forward and let the Pitch Wars commence!

Big welcome to Team Ninja!

Top Ninja Mentee:
Usman Malik's Thriller:

If you any reason Usman cannot fulfill his duties on team ninja, 
we have two star alternates ready in the wings...

Ninja Alternates:

Jason Nelson's Urban Fantasy
Kris Mehigan's Contemporary Suspense

Thank you to everyone who subbed in Pitch Wars. If you didn't enter this year, be sure to have your query and MS ready for the next awesome contest from Brenda Drake. Please cheer on the teams as we prepare for battle in the Agent Round this January!

Keep note of the #PitchWars chat on Twitter, because the mentors have a great surprise for everyone and we hope you'll join in the fun!

How did you like this years Pitch Wars? Will you stop by for the Agent Rounds in January? What do you think the mentors' secret project is?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pitch Wars: The Agents!

Are you ready for this? We have 16 incredible agents vying for our Pitch Wars team manuscripts. We're so excited to see what pitches they fall in love with, and what teams will win the coveted Pitch Wars Most Requested Manuscript title. 

And, in no particular order, here are the agents...

Louise is seeking teen Sci-Fi and Young Adult horror.  She's also on the hunt for deep, dark contemporary YA and select Middle Grade fiction with a literary feel--it must be realistic and thought provoking and the characters must be authentic and original. Louise loves horror and romance, especially Regency and Victorian.

Jessica Sinsheimer
Twitter: @jsinsheim 

Jessica is seeking Literary, Women's, Middle Grade, and Young Adult Fiction.

Twitter: @Natalie_Lakosil 

Natalie is looking for commercial fiction, with an emphasis in children’s literature (from picture book-teen), romance (contemporary, paranormal and historical), and upmarket women’s fiction. Specific likes include historical, multi-cultural, paranormal, sci-fi/fantasy, gritty, thrilling and darker contemporary novels, and middle grade with heart. 

Twitter: @BookaliciousPam

Pam represents young adult and middle grade children’s book authors, and adult romance authors. 

Twitter: @bluedragonfly81 

Jordy is on the look out for Romance (contemporary, historical/Regency, and paranormal). YA contemporary/historical or dystopian, sci-fi/fantasy with romance elements. She's also open to YA GLBT within those genres. She'd love to see unique, well-developed plots featuring time travel, competitions, or travel.

Twitter: @andreasomberg 

Andrea's looking for the following categories: Fiction; literary, commercial, womens fiction, romance, thrillers, mystery, paranormal, fantasy, science fiction, young adult, middle grade.

Jennifer Mishler
Twitter: @literarycounsel 

Jennifer is seeking Young Adult Fantasy, Young Adult Contemporary, Young Adult Literary, and Young Adult Historical. 

Suzie represents adult and children's fiction. In adult, she's specifically looking for romance (historical and paranormal), and fantasy (urban fantasy, science fiction, steampunk, epic fantasy). In Childrens' she loves YA (all subgenres) and is dying to find great Middle Grade projects (especially something akin to the recent movie SUPER 8).

Victoria Marini

Victoria is looking for literary fiction, commercial fiction, pop-culture non-fiction, and young adult. She is very interested in acquiring engaging Literary fiction and mysteries / suspense, commercial women's fiction (romantic suspense, sci-fi, fantasy), and Young Adult (contemporary, sci-fi/fantasy, thriller and horror ).

Kerry is looking for Young Adult and Middle-Grade fiction, both commercial and literary. She tends to shy away from werewolves, zombies, faeries, and the like, but she’ll read anything with a fresh voice and compelling characters. She is particularly keen on contemporary YA, quirky MG, books with a strong cinematic element.  

Drea is currently seeking: fiction, memoir, crime, non-fiction and YA. Her roster consists of British, American, and Canadian clients. International talent is welcome. 

Katie Shea

Katie specializes in fiction and memoir, especially women’s fiction and commercial-scale literary fiction, and realistic YA.  She is most interested in coming-of-age stories and stories of unique relationships.

 Elise Capron

Elise is interested in serious character-driven literary fiction, well-written narrative nonfiction, and short story collections. (Note: She is not interested in Fantasy, young-adult/middle-grade, picture books, romance, and sci-fi.) She aims to work with writers who have a realistic sense of the market and their audience.

Jodell is interested in YA, MG (especially funny) , fiction and nonfiction, book proposals, and picture books. She will also coach writers wanting to self publish.  She simply loves a well-paced story that moves her between joy and tears.

Brittany and Michelle are teaming up to look for Adult, YA, and MG manuscripts. 

 Michelle Johnson
Michelle’s published one novel, The Footloose Killer, and edited several others for publishing houses and private clients. She also is a Script/Story consultant on an independent film in Halifax, NS, Canada, and enjoys working closely with writers to help them develop their voice and craft.

Brittany Howard

When reading, Brittany  loves to be introduced to new and interesting people and places. She looks for strong voice, good storytelling, and fascinating relationships between characters—romantic or otherwise. More than anything, she loves when a book surprises her.

There's just one more day to get your applications in for Pitch Wars. Make sure to check out this post here to get all the details.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


Today, I'm celebrating the official release of the charity anthology from Compass Press, WINTER WONDERS, the perfect book for cold evenings. My story, THE OPERA HOUSE, will be featured along with brilliant tales from some incredible authors.
Amazon, B&N, Kindle, Nook,
Kobo, Book Depositroy

All of the profits go directly to Literacy Inc, an organization that teaches teens the importance of reading and offers them a chance to win a free college education. Help others learn to read by giving the perfect gift filled with winter themed stories from all genres. Recommended for ages teen and up.

As a treat for release day, I'm offering this quick snippet of the opening from THE OPERA HOUSE and a chance to win an eBook copy for your eReader.
     The opera house stands empty. The patrons fled to the comfort of warm homes after the final curtain. The winter eve chills the air, too cold for senseless lingering and idle chatter. A hush settles over the road thick as a blanket. Not a single creature stirs. I stare at the stone theater steps, reminiscing about a long ago similar evening, but the wind howling down the vacant street beckons me onward. I have a date to keep. If I hurry, I may see her again.

Now for your chance to win...
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you! Please consider purchasing a copy and supporting  Literacy Inc.

What is your Winter Wonder? Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Mentor Ninja Bio

Tina Moss could sit here and tell you all of the reasons you should pick her as your Pitch Wars mentor, but there’s really only one that matters…she’s a ninja. And she can wield a light saber! Seriously. Ask her agent mates, if you don't believe her. Studying traditional Shotokan Karate for ten years and earning Shodan rank (first degree black belt), she should technically be a samurai. At 5’1” and a half (5’2” on a good day), she can wear the armor well…
However, her stealth-like skills (sorta) and unassuming demeanor (definitely) make her the perfect ninja! She’s even lived in Japan…the land of ninjas! And you never see her coming. As part of Team Ninja she’ll help you sneak in all quiet-like and wipe the floor with the competition! Ninjas don’t lose.
If that isn’t enough to convince you, Tina lists all the other non-ninja stuff here:
  1. Made of awesome. She took a DNA test to be certain.
  2. Master’s degree in English Language and Literature. Thesis on archetypes in Children’s Literature. 
  3. Short story in charity anthology, Winter Wonders, coming out this December from Compass Press.
  4. Ten years teaching English and five years running academic department.
  5. Represented by Super Agents, Frances Black and Jennifer Mishler, of Literary Counsel.
  6. Co-writer with Yelena Casale on A Touch of Darkness – the first place winner of Central Florida RWA's Touch of Magic contest for the paranormal romance division (then called Blood Bond).
  7. Purveyor and crafter of wondrous words in urban fantasy and paranormal romance.
  8. Former member of SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators). First love is picture books.
  9. Member of RWA (Romance Writers of America) and MLA (Modern Language Association).
  10. Beta reads ten to twenty manuscripts per year including works for published authors: LM Preston, Kristie Cook, Brenda Corey Dunne, Danielle DeVor, and more.
  11. Will not stop working with you until your MS, query and pitch shine! 

Wishes, wishes, and wishes galore...

Tina loves working with other writers and seeing them succeed. No over-egos or self-wallowing allowed here. There’s enough room on the shelves and in cyberspace for every writer, including you!
Like what you’ve read? Tina hopes so. If you think you'd make an awesome teammate (see made of awesome above) and you’re ready to be a ninja, here’s what Tina is looking for in the Adult market...

  • Urban Fantasy – Kickass main character who isn’t afraid to face inner and outer demons in a rough and tumble city environment. (Favorites: Ilona Andrews, Jeanine Frost, Marjorie Liu)* 
  • Paranormal Romance – Feisty heroine and strong heroes please apply. Off the grid mystical creatures falling head over heels hot for each other. (Favorites: Gena Showalter, J. R. Ward, Nalini Singh) *
  • Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic – World-ending? Alternate super scary government take-over? Bleak impossible landscape? Yes! Let's see how your characters deal with the insanity of these worlds. (Favorites: Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth - want to see this brought to adult market)
  • Horror (Thriller too!) – Tina is hard to scare and a bit of an expert on the horror film genre (see Freaky Friday reviews for proof). She loves a well-written horror novel. Be warned, she’ll be tough on this genre, but if you can leave her looking over her shoulder, you’ll have her as a fan for life! (Favorites: too many)
  • Romance – NO CONTEMPORARIES. Tina likes them, but several mentors have more expertise. Shoot for historical, paranormal (see above), mash-up, or category. And make sure it has a happily-ever-after. (Favorites: Michelle Willingham, Karen Marie Moning, Anita Clenney)

*Vampires, angels/demons, and werewolves are a hard sell nowadays, but good story trumps all.

Does your MS falls outside one of these categories? Not sure if it'll work for the Mentor Ninja in Pitch Wars? No worries. Send Tina a note on Twitter and she'll help determine if it's in her area of interest. Not on Twitter? Use Tina's Contact Me page.

Still not sure whether to choose Tina as your mentor? Perhaps her alter egos will convince you…
Batwoman Link Katniss Everdeen
Get those pitches ready and remember to pick the Mentor Ninja! Official details follow below...

Submissions start today (11/26) ! The cut off time to get your applications (query & first five pages of manuscript) in is 8AM EST on December 5.

Send your applications to brendadrakecontests@gmail.com. Writers can apply for up to 3 coaches. The coaches' categories are set. Coaches can only consider the categories they've signed up for. Writers cannot apply for a coach that is not in their category.

For additional information about this contest go HERE (link to your post announcing the contest)
·        This is open to finished manuscripts only.
·         You may only enter one manuscript.
·         Only the genres requested by each coach will be considered for the contest.


Subject line: Pitch Wars Application: Coach Name you want to apply for: Title (Example: Pitch Wars Application: Brenda Drake: GONE WITH THE WIND)

Name: Your Name

Genre: The genre of your manuscript

Word Count: The word count of your manuscript

Query letter here  (embedded in email). Single spaced. No indentions. A space between each paragraph.

First five pages of the manuscript here (embedded in email). Single spaced. No indentions. A space between each paragraph.

REMINDER: You can send an application for up to 3 coaches. 

Check back soon for a complete list of the amazing agents participating in the contest. There's over a dozen!

Today all the coaches are posting bios/wish lists on their blogs. So before choosing your top 3 picks, check all the coaches' posts in your category before deciding which coach to submit. To jump from blog to blog, just click on our pictures below.
Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Thumb-Linky widget will appear right here!
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For best results, use HTML mode to edit this section of the post.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Turkey Day!

I am on a blog break this week to enjoy the holidays (and four-day weekend, WOOT!) with family. But, I wanted to leave this note for you.

Please head back this way on Monday to discover my bio and interests in the upcoming PITCH WARS!

Until then...HAPPY TURKEY DAY!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Walking Dead: Playing the Odds

Back in January I gave odds for the characters' survival rates and a review on the AMC series, Walking Dead. As the show continues it's AWESOME streak in season 3, let's recap and see how our gang's doing.
Original odds are shown along with my new predictions. The characters that have kicked the bucket are in gray. If I was on the money, you'll see a RIGHT under the odds. If not, a TRY AGAIN. So far, I'm not doing half bad. This might call for a Vegas trip.

Original: 2-1
New: 2-1
The hero
rarely dies.
Shane: 100-1
Evil begets evil
Original: 50-1
New:  15-1
Dead? Nah.
Theory below.
Original: 20-1
New: 12-1
Kid can
shoot now!

Original: 12-1
New: 12-1
Irritating me, but
still going strong.
T-Dog: 30-1
If horror movie
lore prevails...
Original: 70-1
New:  10-1
Dead too? Nah.
You'll see.
Sophia: 70-1
Unstable family,
odds are against.

Dale: 8-1
Wily old men
live forever.
Original: 5-1
New: 5-1
Sticking with
the odds.
Original: 2-1
New: 1-1
My badass man.
What's not to love?
Original: 1-1
New: 1-1
I'm from Brooklyn.
Zombies? HA!

AKA new Dale
w/ medical training
She's smarter
than most.
At least we know
her name now.

Samurai sword?
Hell yes.
Tough SOB
that won't quit.
The Governor
Too evil to
live forever.

So, you're wondering why I haven't buried Lori and Carol in the prison yard, right? Here's my theory... In the episode where Lori delivers our new Little Kickass (named so by my man, Daryl), we don't see Carl shoot her. We also do not know Carol's fate as we only see T-Dog get ripped apart by the walkers. 
In the following episode, Rick goes ballistic and hunts down Lori's body. Alas, she was eaten by one of the walkers...or was she? The only evidence we have of Lori's demise is a piece of brown hair stuck between the walker's teeth. As the pair of prisoners try to make nice with the gang, we also see them digging graves--empty graves. No bodies. My suspicion...
Carol saved Lori and is hiding out somewhere in the prison. She refuses to leave to find the others because she won't risk Lori dying. Now, I realize this is very after-school special and in all likelihood Lori might be dead. However, I've played the odds so far. As the Chekhov's gun principle says, "One must not put a loaded rifle on the stage if no one is thinking of firing it." We haven't seen the bodies. Until we do, the odds are in their favor. 

Rating: A++++++ (this show continues its winning streak)

How do you like the new season of The Walking Dead? What odds would you give the ole gang?

Disclaimer: All character depictions are screenshots of a copyrighted television program or station ID. As such, the copyright for it is most likely owned by the company or corporation that produced, AMC Network Entertainment LL. It is believed that the use of a limited number of web-resolution screenshots for identification and critical commentary on the station ID or program and its contents qualifies as fair use under United States copyright law.